STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Rogue 9 »

Barrier system, Nashtari colony zone.
Bridge of NRS Francis Drake
Day 4, Week 11, Turn 2


Pollux to Drake,” crackled the comms equipment, slightly fouled by the asteroid belt separating the two ships. “We’re reading an incoming jump signature at range, bearing 235 mark 10 positive. Please confirm.”

Commander Hrolfgrrsk keyed his personal comm. “Acknowledged, Pollux, stand by.” He turned to his sensor station officer. “Sensors, Conn. Train sensor array to bearing 235 and triangulate with the Pollux to scan for subspace disturbance.”

“Conn, Sensors, aye.” The operator paused. “Affirmative, Conn. It’s big, whatever it is. Estimate thirty seconds.”

Hrolf knew they weren’t expecting a bulk ore carrier, and other big ships were bad news. “Tactical, sound general quarters.” As klaxons started to sound shipwide accompanying the call to battle stations, he turned to the comms station. “Comms, relay to the Pollux. We see it too, advise action stations.”

Both light warships were at full combat readiness by the time the monstrosity tore its way into realspace.

“Conn, Sensors! The ship matches the profile of the raider vessels that have been hitting the shipping lanes!”

The communicator crackled to life again with an unencrypted broadband transmission. “Unidentified ship, this is Captain Adam Jericho commanding NRS Pollux, Sixth Fleet, Nashtar. You are in violation of Nashtari sovereign space. State your intentions at once or you will be fired upon.”

Hrolfgrrsk grimaced. “Comms, Conn. Dispatch to Joyous Gard. Barrier under attack by superior hostile force, request immediate reinforcements. After that, send a tightbeam transmission to the Babylon cluster, advise them of the danger and to keep their heads down. Secure and clear channel 12 for communications with Pollux.”

“Conn, Comms, aye.”

Hrolfgrrsk keyed his communicator over to channel 12. “Drake to Pollux. Doesn’t look like they’re responding. Over.”

“No, Hrolf, and I expect they won’t,” came Captain Jericho’s voice over the channel. “We can’t beat it in a straight fight, and they probably know it.”

“Concur. How do you want to play this?”

“Depends how they play it. If they want to chase us, we run them around the system until Commodore Rashon-Ogn gets here. If they go for the habitats, we’ll have to harass them as much as we can.”

“Good news is, it’ll take them a bit to track down everyone in the asteroids. We can play for time either way.”

“Agreed.” Captain Jericho looked up at his tactical display. “Looks like they’re going for the outer belt.”

“Those stinking sons of a crrask. Well, when the raskantha stalks the village, there’s only one thing to do. We’ll rendezvous at M217. The mine there’s played out, make it look like we’re rushing to defend something important. Might buy time.”

“Agreed. Pollux out.”

“Helm, Conn, come to bearing 153 and increase to flank speed. Tactical, stand by the Archer tubes and fire when you have a solution.”

“Aye, Commander.”

The deck plating thrummed as the oversized engine array of the Francis Drake opened up. The course took them nearly parallel to the gigantic interloper as it hove towards the outer ring of asteroids, scanning for targets among the rocky planetary debris.

Bridge, NRS Pollux

“Conn, Helm, we’re approaching the third ring.”

“Conn, Sensors. Target is engaging an active sensor array. They appear to be probing the asteroid field.”

“Sensors, Conn, aye. Operations, engage jamming equipment, try to keep them from sniffing out the habs.”

“Conn, Ops, aye. Putting out the white noise.”

Bridge, NRS Francis Drake. One hour later

“Conn, Tactical, we have a firing solution for the Archers. Engaging as ordered.”

The missile bays of the frigate bloomed as a swarm of anti-ship missiles salvoed into the void, heralded inside the ship by a slight tremor in the deck.

“Conn, Helm. We’re approaching M217.”

“Helm, Conn, very good. Cut the main engines and reorient to bearing 041, gain a firing solution for the accelerator cannon.”

“Conn, Helm, that will put us on a collision course with… Oh. Aye.” The main engines cut out as the maneuvering thrusters reoriented the ship, letting it drift “sideways” through space. The helmsman grinned as he saw the commander’s plan.

“Conn, Tactical, firing solution for the accelerator achieved.

“Conn, Sensors! Contact is returning fire.”

“Tactical, fire.”

The massive railgun that lay at the spine of a Bandit class frigate spoke. With the main engines cut, it imparted significant backwards momentum to the ship. The frigate lurched backwards, altering its course enough to drift behind the asteroid, putting the rock’s bulk between it and the enemy vessel.

“Conn, Sensors. The enemy vessel is turning toward M217 and launching fighters. Estimate five minutes to contact.”

“Sensors, Conn, acknowledged. Helm, come to heading 220 and reengage main drive, maneuver to keep the asteroid between us and them for as long as possible. Time to make our exit, and see how long that lumbering crrastil will chase us.”

The engine bloom of the frigate burst forth again as it turned away from the asteroid, rapidly accelerating it deeper into the field. “Conn, Tactical. The enemy vessel has altered course to 210 mark 20 negative. They will clear the asteroid in roughly one minute. Their fighters will take less time.”

“Tactical, Conn, aye. Damage assessment.”

“Superficial, Commander. We inflicted minor damage on the dorsal hull and breached their forward section, but they seem to have it under control.”

“Pity. Helm, free maneuvering. Continue evasive maneuvers, keep the cover of the asteroid as long as you can.”

“Conn, Helm, aye. I’ll give it everything I can, sir.”

“Conn, Tactical. Archer tubes are reloaded, ready for another salvo.”

“Tactical, Conn, aye. Fire at will.” The deck shuddered again as another salvo of missiles leapt from the launch arrays, guidance systems arcing them around the asteroid.

Nearly two whole tense minutes later, the ship shuddered with sudden impact. “Conn, Operations! We’re hit, hull breach deck eight. Internal bulkheads holding.”

“Conn, Tactical! The hit took out fire control for the aft Archer array, I’m down to the forward array and rear beam projectors in the rear arc.”

“Fighters incoming!”

The frigate’s flak burst cannons and point defense missile arrays opened up, swatting down the fighters as they came in, but there were far too many. “Conn, Tactical. We’re getting swarmed out here. These things are easy to kill, but there’s just too many for our systems to handle!”

“Conn, Sensors. Seems the enemy vessel agrees, it has abandoned pursuit and resumed searching the asteroids.”

Hrolfgrrsk snarled and pounded the arm of his command chair with a crack. “Come to 180 mark 30 positive, push the engines as hard as you can.”

The communicator crackled. “Pollux to Drake. Hang tight, we’ve got you.”

The destroyer came in hard, it’s superior point defense arrays shredding fighters as it went. A closing salvo of kinetic penetrators from the Yrch ship as it moved away found the destroyer as it moved to cover the stricken frigate. The Pollux’s active defense arrays swatted some of them down, but not all as it was hit amidships.

Commander Hrolfgrrsk keyed his communicator. “Drake to Pollux.. Thanks for the assist. You alright?”

“Affirmative, Drake. Damage to external weapons and sensors is extensive, but it didn’t breach the inner pressure hull. Continuing jamming, but there’s not much else we can do.”

“We’ll just have to hope the fleet gets here before they find the habs. I need to coordinate damage control, Captain. Drake out.”

It was a big asteroid field, and with their sensors counteracted, the Yrch vessel took another hour and a half to find the current mining operation and begin bombardment. Fortunately, it also took about that long to jump from Joyous Gard. Space roiled just outside the third belt as the bulk of Sixth Fleet’s rapid response force tore out of subspace, vectored in by the Pollux to arrive at the right part of the system.

“Unidentified ship, this is Commodore Rashon-Ogn aboard NRS Unbent, commanding Sixth Fleet, Nashtar. Power down at once and prepare to be boarded, or you will be destroyed.”

As expected, they didn’t. The relief flotilla opened fire as soon as its engines started to burn for the edge of the belt.

“Conn, Sensors. Target is spinning up its FTL drive. Power levels are spiking fast, I think they’re already…” A flash of bright white light on the Francis Drake’s primary viewer heralded the target’s transition to subspace.

“Conn, Comms. We’re being hailed by NRS Unbent.”

“Comms, Conn, put it through.”

The main viewer lit up with a view of Commodore Rashon-Ogn. “Pollux, Francis Drake, report.”
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by VX-145 »

Endeavour, Endeavour System

Document No: 42069
Title: Report on Yrch attack, repulsion thereof, and aftermath.

At 0614 hours on 10/4/350, the stealth destroyer Black Adder on station on Outer Patrol detected Amazo-X FTL drive signatures in Empty System 33, one hour away by hyperspace from the Neos system. Transmitting this information to command, the Black Adder diverted to investigate, discovering that the signatures belonged to three unidentified ships; one of these matched the recovered footage from a raid on a Nashtari troop ship some time ago. On station in the Neos system was the Haruhi Suzumiya accompanied by the Endeavour and Endeavour; in addition, the cruisers Naruto Uzamaki and Never! along with the destroyers Endeavour, Endeavour, Endeavour and Endeavour were dispatched from outer Endeavour system patrol to reinforce, and the Line Fleet began preparations for a full-scale engagement. This was estimated to take at least four hours, on account of the recent Angel alert and congestion caused by Theophanic traders.

At 0645 hours, the unidentified ships jumped; since their destination was unknown, the cruiser squadron remained near the Evangelos hab cluster, which provided fast lines of communication to the rest of the system. At 0745, the ships emerged near Hab 3321 "Babylon 5", and proceeded to assault the station. This was resisted by the station's inhabitants, who utilised cosplay fighters and the station's internal defences to repel boarding forces, inflicting casualties and taking prisoners from the enemy. When the relief force arrived at 0824, the enemy boarding craft were in the process of final evacuation before their carriers were to destroy the station.

As senior Captain, the SOS Brigade of the Suzumiya was responsible for laying out the fleet's disposition given that combat was already underway. They detached the destroyers of the force and sent them ahead, while providing long-range anti-fighter fire from the massed batteries of the cruisers; this, along with close-range fire from the destroyers, was enough to suppress the enemy fighter force long enough for the destroyers to make torpedo attacks. These were pressed home against all three ships and several large-scale parasite craft; the latter were put out of action whilst the former were all heavily damaged. This forced the enemy to withdraw without picking up their craft. Action ceased at 0903, with the capture (by gravity tractor beam) of the last resisting enemy fighters.

No permanent casualties were suffered by Endeavour civilians or Protectorate spacers. Enemy losses, including prisoners taken, are estimated to be approximately 658.

Post-battle analysis and questioning reveals the enemy were primarily composed of a species known as the Yrch; their biological make-up suggests heavy alteration and enhancement. While their pre-battle announcement allowed us to start translating their language, the prisoners taken have so far been entirely silent, refusing to even communicate with each other. Interestingly, human remains were found embedded in self-destructed command thrones aboard the two large parasite craft destroyed; this, combined with the presence of Amazo-X artefacts and the use of the terms LON and BEZO, indicate that the Yrch are some sort of client nation of Amazo-X. See Report 69420(/21243) regarding Amazo-X's attempt to start a cult in Theophanic space. No information is yet known about their system of origin, or the location of any base facilities.

-

"So, then, what do we do about this?" Protector Ayanami gestured to the report being projected into the parliament hall, a quirk of the suite's holograpic projectors causing her arm and the report to blink out as soon as they got close to one another. Sheepishly, she withdrew her arm.

A representative from the Biry cluster stood. "We need to find them, and hit them back!"

"That's all well and good," said the Smash Mouth's captain, "but there's a lot of space to cover, and not a lot of ships to cover it with - if we move stealth destroyers off from patrol, another raid might sneak in entirely undetected, and I for one do not fancy my chances against Yrch ships without the cover of stealth! We don't even know where to start looking, either."

"How many ships can we spare?" That was from Sheridan, the now-famous one.

The hologram shifted, showing the current list of ship assignments. "Two cruiser squadrons are currently in reserve," Ayanami said, "Two destroyers are also spare with the Katerina Claes still missing. With the two battlecruisers detached, that would make a potent escort for a scouting force. We should talk to the Nashtari some as well, they might have more information and our envoy recently arrived in their space."

"Nobody ever asks us if we want to be detached," muttered the captain of the Glory to its compatriot on the Implacable.

Ayanami fixed them with a look. "Well? Do you?" There was a general mumbling of assent. It wasn't like they had much else to do.

"We should put the Line Fleet on alert, while such a force is out - keep them moving, so they can respond at a moment's notice." That was from the Hutt representative from one of the outlying habs, and a lot of thumbs-up emotes followed their words. "Four hours just to get underway was far too long - and we'll need them if we find the enemy's base of operations."

Captain Picard of the 69_weed_goku_420 held up a hand. "We can certainly oblige, if fuel is made available."

"That's easy enough to sort out," Ayanami said. "It's settled, then?"

Well, it wasn't, and there were a few hours of hashing out the details, but who really wants to read all of that when they ended up with the exact same plan they started with?





Helios System, Nashtar Space

'Lucky' Nyallone had settled remarkably quickly into the role of ambassador, probably because everyone was too busy gawking at Darth Vader to really question why a suited catgirl wielding a tommy gun was Endeavour's ambassador to Nashtar. That, the raid on Barrier, and the sudden appearance of a rather large Theophanic diplomatic expedition (let it never be said they did things by half measures), and Nyallone was feeling like she'd never get around to discussing any of the boring things that ambassadors did; she'd barely even had to sign any paperwork. She was half tempted to complain to someone. When the message came through about asking the Nashtari for help, she immediately knew that was going to be a bit of a pain with everything going on at once.

Oh well. She punched in the number for the State Department on the telephone their temporary embassy had been provided, and was soon set up for a meeting at a reasonably reasonable time in the next couple days...



[OOC:A scouting fleet is forming up to look for the Yrch home system; this consists of two Kitsune-class cruisers, six Endeavour-class destroyers, two Glory-class battlecruisers, and six Astra-class scout frigates. Part of this force is intended to stumble on Eternal_Freedom's Orions, which should happen in the next post or the post after. They're intending to co-operate with the Nashtari fleet in some capacity, as well.]
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Rogue 9 »

Situation Room, Presidential Mansion, Nashtar
Day 5, Week 11, Turn 2


“Mr. President, the situation in the colony zone is untenable. When they were attacking shipping it was one thing, but if they’re transitioning to attacking the colonies themselves we can’t sustain the effort of defending them against warships of that caliber. Sixth Fleet was built to deter piracy, not to overmatch multiple battlewagons.” Fleet Admiral Blessinger took in a breath. “We know they have multiple of these ships. An entirely different class destroyed the Meridian, and surviving sensor logs and witnesses show signs of at least three distinct individual ships attacking the merchant shipping lanes. Any given one of them can outmatch a Guardian, and as you know, Sixth Fleet only has three of those, with nothing heavier. All they would have to do is attack two or three colony systems at once and we’d have to sacrifice at least one. Given the needs of the situation, I think it’s worth considering pulling Project Liberty out of mothballs and reassigning portions of the battle fleets until that can be realized.”

“I assure you, Admiral, I take this very seriously,” President Harrison said, his chin resting on his interlaced fingers. “As you know, these… Yrch slaughtered my nephew aboard the Meridian, to say nothing of attacking our shipping, our fleet, and now our systems. I will use all the influence of my office to get whatever appropriations Space Command needs to meet the threat through the legislature.”

“Project Liberty was canceled because the proposed Liberty class couldn’t stand up to the needs of a primary battle line,” objected Secretary Howson, the secretary of the navy. “It would still have that problem, and if the issue is that the raiders are using heavy ships…”

“Secretary, the raiders’ ships are heavy, but not as heavy as a Dauntless, and as we’ve seen a pair of Guardians, much less a Dauntless, can’t catch them. Fast battlecruisers are exactly what a counter-raider strategy needs. No one is proposing mothballing our battleships or carriers for this.”

“I realize that, Admiral, but we’re taking capital class shipyard berths away from production of line ships and carriers for this, and if we do need them for a main battle engagement we’d need a Kensington to babysit them, at which point we’re talking a whole other ship’s worth of…”

One of the comms panels along the wall beeped insistently, a red light blinking above it, interrupting the conversation. An aide quickly stepped to examine it. “Mr. President, Priority One call from NSC Headquarters. It’s Rear Admiral Trrastirr, sir.”

“Gentlemen, we had better take this,” President Harrison said, standing and turning to face the viewscreen. “Put it on, Jenkins.”

The beeping stopped as the wall mounted display changed over from the tactical readouts of the Barrier engagement to the bust of the Zambaran admiral. “Mr. President, Admiral Blessinger, pardon the interruption. Several large ships have translated from FTL in the outer system in the vicinity of Helios VI. They appear to be Theophanic vessels.”

“If it’s not one thing it’s another,” Blessinger muttered.

“Have they made contact, Admiral?”

“Not yet, Mr. President. Admiral Lancaster is hailing them now.”

Blessinger spoke next. “Do we have a fix on their force composition, Trras?”

“Reports are still coming in, sir, the radiation and EMP produced by their FTL method is still dying down and the Intrepid’s main sensor array was on standby. I’m expecting that report momentarily and can route it to the Situation Room at the President’s order.”

“The order is given, Admiral,” replied Harrison. “Let’s see it.”

“Very good, Mr. President,” answered the rear admiral. “The main sensor array is coming online now. Routing to your station on the secure line.”

The scans soon appeared on the viewer, windowing Admiral Trrastirr’s face as it displayed readouts. “Looks like six extremely large warships, sir, apparently escorting some form of container ships? Intrepid comms reports awaiting an answer to Admiral Lancaster’s hail.”

The President thought uneasily about the Theophanic interest in finding worlds to colonize. “Threat assessment?”

“Their ships are formidable, but we’re reasonably certain First Fleet and the system defenses could overpower them if necessary, though likely with considerable losses among the escorts.” The Zambaran paused. “Sir, the Theophanic armada has responded.”

“Let’s hear it, then. What do they want?”

“Very well, sir.” He turned off screen. “Captain, patch through the communique.”

“Hail, lord Admiral. We are the Theophanic Empire Embassy Fleet soi Hapax. We bear the Imperial Ambassador appointed to the Republic of Nashtar and additionally, convey two mercantile barques’ worth of goods and materiel to initiate trade relations. Kapetanios Lordos Mikhalil Wardan Ihvon, Earl Dakon, Princip of the House of the Aurelian Moon, Master of the Teknitis, Genis soi Vasilias, at your service.”

The room was stunned for a moment. “Embassy fleet?” The look on Secretary Howson’s face was incredulous. “Who sends a battle fleet capable of leveling a planet for an embassy?”

“An excellent question,” said the President, glowering at the message. “I assume the State Department has been notified?”

“Yes, Mr. President,” answered Admiral Trrastirr. “Admiral Lancaster notified State as soon as the message came through.”

“Very well. Admiral, please stand by, I need to call Minister Roshin-Pan.”

Admiral Trrastirr nodded his assent and saluted before putting the connection on standby.

The aide had already punched in the call to the Minister of State’s office. “Yes, President Harrison for Minister Roshin-Pan, priority one please,” he said quietly into the receiver in the corner, presumably to the Minister’s personal secretary.

“Yes, Mr. President,” said the Ronoghan minister as soon as the secure connection established.

“Secretary Roshin-Pan, I assume you’re aware of the Theophanic… embassy fleet that has arrived in system.”

“I am, Mr. President,” she replied, inclining her head atop its sinuous neck. “Such a force demands response, if I may be so bold to say.”

“You may,” answered Harrison. “The policy of the administration is to welcome their ambassador, and offer him the full protection of Nashtar.”

“I assume to mean that the warships are not needed.”

“Yes, but speak softly and carry a big stick.”

“Understood, Mr. President,” answered the minister. “The report from the conference aboard their Dystropos vessel indicates that they are less than comfortable with non-humans, however, so no matter what protocol demands, I should likely appoint a human envoy.”

“Understood, Minister. Please move with all haste. We will prepare an appropriate welcoming reception at the Mansion. After that, though, he will need to get used to the nature of our Republic.”

“Yes, Mr. President. Also, the Endeavour ambassador requests a meeting to discuss the Yrch situation. I have her scheduled for two days from now, but given the sudden urgency of that crisis we may wish to move it up.”

“Agreed. Please arrange that expeditiously. If she needs an executive followup, I can clear my schedule as soon as this Theophanic business is taken care of.”

Helios System, Nashtar
Later That Afternoon


“You’re on, Ambassador.”

Ambassador Shelton smiled as he addressed the communicator, hoping the translation software worked. He had been working to learn the Theophanic language, but it was arcane indeed and he needed the crutch, at least for now.

“Unto Kapetanios Lordos Mikhalil Wardan Ihvon, Earl Dakon, Princip of the House of the Aurelian Moon, Master of the Teknitis, Genis soi Vasilias, greetings on behalf of the Republic of Nashtar,” he said. “I am Ambassador Horace Shelton. On behalf of my government, I bid you welcome. We will happily receive your august embassy in our capital of Union City on Helios III, and offer your Imperial Ambassador the full protection of Nashtar. What accommodations are required for your embassy?”
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by VX-145 »

Helios System, Nashtar Space

Nyallone hadn't been allowed to bring her tommy gun into the State Department building - technically, she shouldn't have been walking around outside with it, either, but with some minor legal wrangling she had been assigned as part of her own bodyguard, which neatly side-stepped that problem - and it felt more than a little odd to be parted from it. The building was nice, though, and she took care to fab up some Grade A Meeting Coffee while being guided around; she had an internal generator and mass storage bay that made that trick a lot less painful to pull off.

She called upon literal weeks of diplomatic training, mustered herself, and entered the office she'd been led to. Minister Roshin-Pan was sitting behind a desk, but stood when the door opened, extending a hand out to Nyallone. "I'm glad you could make it," she said, "I trust your journey over wasn't unpleasant?"

It had been less than a hundred metres, the temporary embassy being located just down the street from the State Department, but Nyallone simply smiled. "It was fine."

They took their seats, Roshin-Pan accepting the cup of coffee and grimacing at the taste. Perfect. "My condolences for the recent attack on your space," the Ronoghan began, "I can assure you that the Yrch threat is currently one of the Republic's highest priorities."

"Thank you," Nyallone said, "Fortunately, no-one was permanently killed. You have our condolences for the recent raids, as well. That's why I'm here, in fact; there's a saying in my family. 'They send one of ours to the hospital, we send one of theirs to the morgue'." She projected a hologram from her palm, detailing the scouting force that was likely underway as they spoke. "We don't have much in the way of intelligence to go on; while we captured quite a few prisoners, few have been willing to talk - and it's clear that they know very little with regards to, say, the location of their primary base. However, the Endeavour Protectorate has reason to believe there is some link between the Yrch and the Amazo-X state; this fleet will thus concentrate efforts around their former capital system before moving towards a more general sweep of the area between there, the Nashtar Republic and Endeavour. We'd like to co-ordinate this effort with the Republic if at all possible, in addition to the eventual operation to end the Yrch threat. And that's not all! The squadron that escorted myself and the ambassador to Ernarn is still stationed nearby; that can be brought in to help reinforce your defences or co-operate with offensive action if you so desire."

Roshin-Pan's reddish skin subtly shifted tone at the "permanently killed" part, but her body language did not change. "I will relay your offer to the President," the Minister replied. "I am certain he will accept, but it is outside of my authority to do so on my own. Our fleet is taking steps to counter their tactics and our scout services are searching for their base. Between us, unfortunately our naval deployment structure in the colony zones that they have been raiding is designed to counter the Black Star pirates. Using heavy cruisers and dreadnoughts to commerce raid and attack planets has not been in their playbook, so to speak, but it is the entire operational strategy of the Yrch." She took a deep breath. "The Space Command can redeploy to counter that, and will, but the real problem is the why? These people came out of nowhere six months ago and started attacking all over the quadrant, and to date nobody knows what they want. They have been giving Ernarn's shipping serious trouble, and we even understand they've been attacking the Black Star when they come across them."

She turned to look straight at the strange-looking ambassador, by unfortunate necessity looking down across her desk, though she had lowered her neck to minimize the effect. "If they are connected to Amazo-X, though, that goes a long way to explaining their possible motivations. Many years ago, Amazo-X made contact with Nashtar and secured a trade agreement, but they were expelled following an attempt on their part to sabotage operations at Oro Shipworks while attempting to sell ship construction services. Along with a market-flooding scheme on low and mid-grade consumer goods, that was more than enough for the Commerce Department to revoke their license. Attempts were made to arrest their saboteurs, but they proved quite elusive. We have had no contact with them since."

Nyallone shrugged. "Their ships use Amazo-X components heavily, and they opened with a reference to the fake gods set up in a previous attempt to subvert Theophanic society; it could be nyothing more than a co-incidence, but we think it's unlikely." She winced a little at the "nya", but at least she'd managed to not end every sentence with it so far. "The tactics - massed fighter swarms coupled with boarding craft and large ships - certainyaly line up, though their ultimate aims are unyaknown to us. I'll keep you informed if any of our prisoners decide to talk, and you know how to get in touch if you need to contact me." Before standing to leave, she turned out an external memory drive, configured to be compatible with Nashtari computer ports. "This has both the raw data on the Yrch ships and prisoners and our analysis thereof; hopefully, it'll be of some use to you." She stood, and bowed slightly, "I'm glad we could talk, and I look forward to continuing co-operation."

The Nashtari minister inclined her head (moreso). "I as well." With that, Nyallone left.





Neos System, Endeavour Space

It had taken two days, but the whole Scouting Force was finally assembled; the two battlecruisers, Glory and Implacable, stood at the vanguard; behind them a row of six destroyers - the Endeavour, Endeavour, Endeavour, The Weed Number, Endeavour and Endeavour in front of the two cruisers Komi Shoko and Yui Hirasawa, which flanked all six of the Protectorate's fast scout frigates; a powerful force, but not one that would actively seek battle. Their purpose was, as the name implies, to scout - to find the Yrch, and to report back safely.

There had been some disputes over seniority - the system being byzantine and confusing at the best of times* - but full representative responsibility eventually found its way into the hooves of Captain Trixie of the Komi Shoko, who was actually the least senior captain on the scene. She wasn't the type to show her nerves, though, so it was with an insouciant slouch in her command chair that she ordered the fleet to move out - their destination: Amazo-X's former headquarters to the galactic "North". The ships synchronised their navigational computers, the Psy suffered a hyperspace ascendance system failure that took an hour to fix, and then as one, the fleet glided upwards into the strange realms of hyperspace - and set off.

Little did they know this journey would be a little more complicated than they thought...



[OOC:The fleet is moving towards Amazo-X's hex on the map, passing close to/through Orion space. Part of the dialogue in the first section was provided by Rogue 9.]
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Eternal_Freedom »

Deep-Space Sensor Control, Orbital Defence Headquarters
RIgel System, Outer reach of Orion Dominion


The room was vast, filled with countless circular consoles and a ceiling literally covered with holographic displays. Each console held a single Orion sensor operator, four arms and four eyes monitoring both the Rigel system and the tracts of unclaimed space beyond. There was an occasional muttering, some beeping, and below all that the deep, bass rumble of the main generators.

In command of the room that day was Crassus-7-62354, a Commander from a relatively new genetic template, just six batches produced so far. Nonetheless, "54" as he was known to his friends was highly regarded and many whispered that he'd be on the Command Council if he lived long enough.

A call came in from one of the operators: "Commander, multiple contacts approaching Orion space. Their course brings them close to the border but will not enter without further alterations. Unknown vessel types and no recognizable transponder codes. Estimate sixteen contacts, believe two heavies, two mediums and twelve lights. Evaluate contact as recon/scouting force. Recommend initiating First Contact procedures."

54 nodded. "That is reasonable. Communications, signal Fleetmaster Silas-33-01356 aboard Siege Perilous with my recommendation that his squadron investigates."

Within ten minutes, the ready-alert squadron, led by the massive bulk of the dreadnought Siege Perilous and also having the battlecruisers Majestic and Phoenix along with six destroyer flotillas for escort, had pointed their bows away from Rigel and fired up their huge sublight engines, moving far enough away from the planet to engage their hyperderives.

Ten minutes after their departure from orbit the sublight drives shut down and the hyperdrives flared a brilliant blue, launching the squadron out into unclaimed territory to an intercept point with the unknown contacts.

-------

OOC: So my ready-alert squadron is moving out to meet VX-145's force. This is one dreadnought, two battleships and six destroyer flotillas (each having one cruiser and five destroyers).

Also, I know Orions are mono-gendered, but I'm going to stick with referring to them as he/his because writing it/it's every time is messing with my head.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.
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VX-145
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by VX-145 »

ESS Komi Shoko, somewhere to the Galactic South-West of Orion Space

Trixie had been looking forward to a leisurely cruise around empty space; it was highly unlikely they were going to find anything pointing towards the Yrch in the picked-clean ruins of the former Amazo-X HQ, and searching system by system was a laughable prospect. The chances of actually running into anything - let alone anything that needed her attention - were almost amusingly low. So, of course, about three days out from setting off, the alarms started blaring.

Well, she had an image to maintain, so rather than flapping about like a headless chicken, she instead sat up calmly in her control seat and glanced over at Fubuki, at Sensors. "What is it?"

"Incoming FTL signatures," Fubuki replied, her voice level. "Not a known type; type and number of ships incoming is unknown. Estimated time to emergence... two minutes and thirty seconds."

Trixie reacted fast, barely even needing to vocalise her orders: "All ships to high alert. Have the scouts prepare to jump; I want someone getting out if these turn out to be hostiles - no direct courses to inhabited systems, as per Contact protocal. Have the Mark II Contact Package boot up, and prepare for incoming."

The fleet moved into a more defensive formation, with overlapping fields of point defence fire should the worst happen, and just as the Glory got into position, the newcomers emerged; a great ship at the fore of the force, flanked by two slightly smaller but still immense vessels, and surrounded by a cloud of smaller ships - squadrons of five with a single larger ship. They were definitely warships, unless the turrets coating them were armed with chocolate sprayers or something, and they wasted no time in assembling into a battle formation themselves. They didn't look very much like Yrch ships, though.

"Start the Contact Package," Trixie ordered, and the Komi's communications array began beaming towards the newcomers. There was a simple pulse clock, a second beam that went through mathematical operations, and an actual voiced message, which Trixie had to supply:

"Unidentified ships, this is the Komi Shoko of the Endeavour Scout Fleet. We come in peace. This message will repeat once in our second language, including this section, and then will repeat the whole message. Message repeats.

正体不明の船、これはエンデバースカウト艦隊の コミショウコ です。 私たちは安心してやって来ます。 このメッセージは、このセクションを含む第二言語で1回繰り返され、その後、メッセージ全体が繰り返されます。 メッセージが繰り返されます。"


The scouting fleet waited, tense, for the newcomer's response...



OOC: Will be a bit busy tomorrow, and probably most of the week up until Saturday/Sunday UK Time - I'll likely be able to get short posts out, but not at the rate I have been this weekend.
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Elheru Aran
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Elheru Aran »

Symmachia

“I am pleased to report that Rei has ceased use of her drum set,” reported Rei flatly. Stefon’s hands twitched tentatively, but she stopped herself from clapping just in time as the blue-haired woman continued, “however, she has taken up the electric guitar instead. She is just as unfortunate at it as she was with the drums.”

Everybody around the circle nodded gravely. Everybody, that is, except Erhard, but he followed suit awkwardly a moment later. Stefon grinned inwardly, but she sympathized. It had taken her a while to get used to these meetings too. Not the coffee, though-- never that. Nobody had objected much when she started showing up with a couple of stewards and a dessert cart with a large urn of coffee on top. Strangely enough they seemed to still prefer the Endeavourite pastries, but she could deal with that.

Brother Mike turned ponderously in his seat to face in the general direction of her and Erhard apo Aftokratoria, the Wachter ypolchagos sitting awkwardly beside her. He cleared his throat and inquired, “Lady soi Drakon and Lieutenant apo Aftokratoria. How does it go with your Children?”

“Quite well, thank you,” Stefon responded. It had indeed been a good while since she’d had much trouble with Shinji; they were accommodating each other well enough. Having him run along in field exercises with soi Drakon troops seemed to help, and she didn’t mind his cello practice too much. She turned to Erhard and asked him directly, “And you?”

The Wachter shifted awkwardly in his seat with a subsonic murmur of his bionic legs. He took a long sip of his coffee, cleared his throat and mumbled something. Everybody leaned forward, even Huge Fan (Stefon had no idea what their name was; the only thing they ever introduced themselves by was quite literally ‘I’m a huge fan!’), and he coughed and raised his voice. “Excuse me. I was saying, things are fine.”

Jet lifted a bushy eyebrow and leaned his bearded chin on his cybernetic arm. “Yeah, your kids giving each other a black eye is just fine.”

Erhard darted the copilot of the Bebop an annoyed look but said nothing. The Pony (Fluttershy, she thought was their name) chirped, “Golly! It’s not nice to fight!”

The Wachter sighed. “No. But Asuka was asking for it. Or not really, they shouldn’t fight, but she can’t push people around the way she does and not expect… push-back.”

A shorter male Endeavourite in one of the NERV uniforms she was used to seeing around the Geofront responded, “Asukas are like that. It takes them a while to grow out of it. Sometimes longer than others, I’m afraid.”

Grigori, sitting beside Stefon, mumbled concurrence, which she didn’t have to translate this time around. She had a sneaking suspicion these Endeavourites understood the Theophanic farmer much better than they let on, but she let the breach of protocol slide. Frankly, being at this meeting was pretty much tearing up the etiquette book anyway. But she didn’t mind. Grigori’s cheese was excellent, and the Asuka living with him had finally started being a little more polite.

Erhard rubbed his face and continued, “Can she grow out of it a little quicker? For that matter, am I actually stuck with her like… forever?”

A general shrug ran around the circle. Mike rumbled, “I am afraid we have no good answer to that. Some of the Children leave their guardians within months. Others stay for years. Nobody quite knows why; it is simply the way it is.”

Erhard sighed and nodded resignedly. Mike continued, “We would be happy to keep talking to you, but I believe it is time to conclude this meeting. I shall speak to you after we wind this up?”

Erhard nodded, as did Stefon; as ranking Theophanic and a fellow guardian of one of the Children, she expected she might be part of that discussion. The meeting wrapped up in good order, and as they stood, Stefon looked about and saw Shinji and an Asuka walking towards them. The girl was easy enough to recognize with the vivid shiner she was sporting, but Stefon frowned.

“Where’s Arthouros?” she asked sternly as they approached. Erhard looked around quickly from the side conversation he was having with Brother Mike, and echoed her question, looking mildly concerned.

Asuka just shrugged sullenly, but Shinji answered, “I dunno? Just before the meeting we were talking about the Geofront…”

“That silly boy wanted to try on my A10 nerve clips!” Asuka snapped suddenly, “It’s not my fault he decided to go run off after that!”

Shinji interceded nervously, “Ah, er, I think he just went for a walk…”

Stefon rubbed her face and sighed. She murmured sideways to Erhard, “I guess we need to go find him. Who knows what all the Endeavourites have down here.”

He nodded. Brother Mike stepped forward beside them and cleared his throat loudly. “Er, I could not help hearing. If you need assistance finding young soi Fylachto, I can contact the Command Centre and have them track him?”

Erhard answered firmly, “Please, if you don’t mind.”

Mike bowed his head in assent, brought up his arm and hinged a section of his armoured forearm up to expose a small screen and buttons. A few presses and a small ologramma hovered above his arm. “Colonel Katsuragi?” he began, “We’ve lost one of the Theophanic children.”

“The devil you say. Hyuga, start searching the internal feeds. Didn’t one of you see that kid going down… oh yeah, there he is. Route B-83…. He’s going straight to the Eva pens. Shit.”

The adults exchanged alarmed looks at the shift in Katsuragi’s tone. Erhard asked tightly, “What is the quickest way there?”

“I’ll take you,” answered Mike decisively. He was as good as his word-- though it entailed trotting through a rabbit-warren of hallways and narrow corridors, before Stefon knew it they were coming through a doorway to stand before…

A gigantic statue, for lack of a better word? Standing half immersed in strange-coloured liquid, they were on a bridge on a level with its head. Stefon had the strange feeling that somehow, this was no statue-- the Endeavourites’ attitude about it certainly indicated it was something else.

“Arthouros?” Erhard called loudly, the name echoing about the giant chamber. A small sound came from the next room over, and they trotted through another hallway to enter a second massive chamber or pen, holding another of the monstrous statues. This one, Stefon noticed right away, was slightly different in form and certainly coloration.

And its eyes were glowing. All five of them. Maybe the one in the center of its forehead was an optic rather than an eye, she didn’t know, but whatever the case, it appeared to be looking directly at the (comparatively) tiny figure of Arthouros soi Fylachto, sitting cross-legged on the bridge across the liquid-filled pen.

Erhard and Mike slowly approached across the bridge. Instinctively, Stefon reached out before Shinji and Asuka could follow them, and ignored the annoyed yelp from Asuka. She darted her eyes to the door across the bridge, which had just opened-- a blonde woman in a white lab coat emerged, holding a tablet and tapping on it.

Besides Arthouros, Erhard knelt and gently put his hand on the boy’s shoulder. Stefon couldn’t hear his murmured words, but Arthouros blinked and nodded before coming to his feet. Something niggled at the back of Stefon’s brain, and she looked at the… whatever it was… at the side of the pen.

It was looking at her. A chill ran down her spine and she stepped aside. Then she realized its gaze hadn’t changed… and it was looking directly at Asuka and Shinji. She looked at it again and took in its monstrous size and the glow behind its eyes.

reaching for the sky, vultures circling
victory lost, face destroyed, torn apart
wrath, rage, scream in the face of death

“Lady soi Drakon?” asked Mike, at her elbow. She flinched and stared at him. Her mouth suddenly dry, she had to clear her throat and then she whispered, “That… thing. What is it?”

All Purpose Humanoid Decisive Battle Weapon, Artificial Human Evangelion,” Mike replied calmly. “This particular one is Unit 12-C.”

“Whatever it is, I want no part of it,” she responded decisively. The blonde woman had approached Erhard and Arthouros, and was speaking animatedly to them, showing them things on her tablet. Mike shrugged and answered, “I’m not sure you’ll have much choice. Arthouros came here for a reason. Shall we go find out?”


Helios System
Republic of Nashtar


What accommodations are required for your embassy?

As Shelton’s message wound up, there was murmuring on the bridge. Much of it was to the effect of ‘that came instantly from the third planet? Extraordinary!’ Kapetanios soi Vasilias cut through the buzz with a bellow of “Silence on the bridge!”

Redirecting his voice to the audio pickups on his command throne, he cleared his throat and continued, “My lord Shelton, a pleasure. However, I command the fleet, not the embassy. Allow me to pass the word for Furstepiskopos [Prince-Bishop] soi Hapax. One moment.”

It was rather more than a moment, but eventually the bridge portals chirped as the summoned noble strode through. soi Vasilias stood stiffly and inclined his head to the Episkopos, who barely nodded in his direction. “I understand we are communicating with the Nashtaris. Whom am I speaking to?”

Ah, this is Horace Shelton, Ambassador of the Republic of Nashtar. Furst… episkopos soi Hapax, I take it?

“Yes.”

Jolly good. As I was informing your Captain, your embassy is welcome to our capital of Union City on Helios III, and your Ambassador shall have the full protection of the Republic of Nashtar. I was asking what accommodations your embassy shall require?

Furstepiskopos soi Hapax stroked his pointed goatee with a hand gloved in fine kidskin. Carefully he leaned on the railing around the command throne dais and answered, “The embassy of the Empire does not require much. Merely a plot of land appropriate for establishing a structure to house the Ambassador and their staff and retainers. I shall have my aide send your staff a message with the details. If we are welcome, we shall proceed forthwith to your Helios III and assume orbit.”

As he spoke, his aide standing off to the side tapped rapidly upon a large handscreen. The message was a simple one: we require a plot of land convenient to your capital, approximately eight kilometres by eight kilometres square. Natural water sources upon this plot if at all possible. Otherwise, it doesn’t have to be nice land. We’ll take care of that part. And if you could supply an engineer or two for local contacts and adherence to local regulations when necessary...

Shelton's smile faltered a tiny bit for a fraction of a second. "Of course, that can be arranged. Union City sits upon a coast at a river mouth. Such accommodations are more than most polities require, but for a mighty empire such as your own I'm certain it should be no issue.

After the usual polite formalities from Shelton, including an invitation to a reception at the Presidential Mansion in the near future, the Nashtari signed off. soi Hapax stood erect and looked pensive for a moment. Kapetanios soi Vasilias cleared his throat and inquired, “Shall I have the fleet commence movement towards the third planet, my lord?”

The Furstepiskopos blinked and looked at him. “Ah. Yes. You may proceed, yes. Engage in the customary demonstration upon arrival.”

soi Vasilias nodded sharply. “Very well. Helmsman, plot a route to Helios III orbit. Half sublight. Comms, inform the fleet that we are under way. Begin.”

Enormous banners twinkling and slowly moving in the vacuum, the fleet of gigantic ships lit engines and began easing their way through space. Their acceleration was modest, but their speed was not; it only took them a matter of hours to reach Helios III.

As they began braking to enter orbit, Teknitis picked up a large volume of chatter from Nashtar aerospace traffic control. Much of it was redirecting the civilian traffic around the Theophanics’ route; this was only as expected. As the massive Magnatrabes battleship slowly slipped through the void and settled into orbit, shutters slipped open on its sides and canisters were ejected.

Gigantic explosions of light and colour rang forth around the Theophanic fleet as the other ships followed suit. In the open spectra, Teknitis filled the airwaves with a powerful broadcast--

Ιδού, είμαστε εδώ!
Ιδού, η Αυτοκρατορία ήρθε!
Κοιτάξτε τη δόξα που είναι οι υπηρέτες της Θεούας!
Σας μεταφέρουμε το φως της Θεουατοκράτορας!
Δόξα στην Αυτοκρατορία, τα παιδιά της Γης!

Idoú, eímaste edó!
Idoú, i Aftokratoría írthe!
Koitáxte ti dóxa pou eínai oi ypirétes tis Theoúas!
Sas metaféroume to fos tis Theouatokrátoras!
Dóxa stin Aftokratoría, ta paidiá tis Gis!

Behold, we are here!
Behold, the Empire is come!
Look upon the glory that is the servants of Theoua!
We bring you the light of the Theouautokratora!
Glory to the Empire, the children of Earth!


soi Vasilias grinned. He knew this would probably poke the Nashtaris just a bit, but the spectacle was irresistible. What this would do for their diplomatic relations, he had no idea, but whatever was going to happen in the near future, he knew he was at least probably not going to be bored…


Vargaresh, Theophanic Empire
Geraki World News


“Good afternoon, this is GWN and I’m Loukas soi Bavmort.”

“And I’m Kristona apo Vargaresh. The news of the day: first, the Epimelitirio has finally released an official statement upon the loss of Thorikto Kriegsgott and the Geraki scion Reinhard, Tenth of His Name.”

Portrait of Reinhard soi Geraki, in full regalia, standing on the wide porch of the soi Geraki estate on Vargaresh, bordered in black

“That’s right. The full statement can be viewed on our website. To sum it up, they have declared the loss of Kriegsgott a regrettable nullspace-transit accident. Further, they have condemned the various depictions of a Thorikto craft destroying an inhabited planet as falsifications.”

“For now, the Epimelitirio has not named any party responsible for these falsifications. However, sources indicate that they have laid blame at the feet of Endeavour, our erstwhile ally.”

“Endeavour seems unaware of these allegations, as they have not recalled any of their tourist or trading craft. Many of their ships are currently travelling through the Empire, visiting our various worlds.”

“Indeed. Their teknis is certainly impressive, and today we have a guest to testify, Frater Ichavod.”

The Frater appears in a window at the side of screen; his face is relatively human for a technognostiki, probably why they picked him to interview

“My lord Frater, do you wish to make a statement upon the Endeavourite teknis?”

+++Indeed. It is most impressive--+++

“That it is, but is any of it of use for the Empire?”

+++Absolutely, but we must caution the citizens of the Empire--+++

“That’s true. The technognostiki brotherhoods have our faith and trust. Frater Ichavod, thank you.”

Image of ten Raab, flag of soi Drakon beside it

“Word has come in from ten Raab. Genis soi Drakon expects the arrival of holy Mitra and its blessings upon their world. The administrators of Genis soi Geraki have communicated with us that they expect to send a large fleet to ten Raab in advance of Mitra arriving.”

“When we return: the sports. Shall Moraw City triumph over Moraw South?”

Commercial plays. Dark cave, suddenly glowing.

ELDIL: Omega, bring me… teenagers with faith!

Six young people materialize, each one wearing a different colour.


ELDIL: You shall be… the Dynamianaplirotes [Power Guardians]!

Zaak soi Morr, Gold Lion! Bethan apo Vargaresh, Pink Raptora! Kro apo Aftokratoria, White Falcon! Frater Devan, Black Elefant! Idda 293 apo Vargaresh, Yellow Lippard!

Together They Have the Power! To defeat Ma’El and her horde of Mud-Ogres!

Dynamianaplirotes! Every Saturday morning at 0900 hours! Don’t miss it!
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.
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Eternal_Freedom
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Eternal_Freedom »

Orion Dominion Rapid-Reaction Squadron
Uncharted space


The thirty-three warships had quickly formed up into formation, with the Siege Perilous at the centre, the Phoenix and Majestic on either flank, and the six escort flotillas formed up, one on each axis. In the fleet command centre aboard the dreadnought, Fleetmaster Silas-33-01356 viewed the main holo-display dispassionately, running one critical eye of the sensor scans of the unknown vessels while a second eye monitored his own formation. The remaining two eyes he kept focused on the main plot.

His comms officer called out about the incoming message, but he ignored it to instead call for a tactical analysis, duly provided by the fleet tactical officer.

"Sixteen vessels, I would rate the two largest as battlecruiser-analogs, two cruiser-analogs and six destroyer-analogs. The remaining contacts appear to be scout vessels, we detect minimal armament and shielding. The FTL system uses an unknown method but analysis shows it to be fairly comparable to our own hyperdrives."

Silas (who chose to go by his template name rather than any nickname) nodded. As standard protocol, he asked for a threat assessment. The Orions had long memories of First Contact scenarios.

The tactical officer responded. "Threat level six. Only ten are combat vessels and none are a match for our flagship. This is consist with a recon force that has stopped to encounter a new species."

Silas nodded again before he listened to the repeated message from the other ships. Endeavour Scout Fleet? he mused. What are they doing out this way though? One of his officers confirmed that, crucially, that name, nor the name "Komi Shoko" appeared anywhere in the salvaged Lazari databases, meaning they would revert to their standard methods - talk first and only fire if fired upon. Silas hoped this went better than the last three First Contacts had been.

"At least the translation system is working. Very well, all ships initiate First Contact procedures, safe all weapons but keep shields raised and hyperdrives on standby. Get me an open channel."

A minute later, when the signal was on it's fourth repetition, the message went out from Siege Perilous:

"Attention Komi Shoko of the Endeavour Scout Fleet, this is the dreadnought Siege Perilous of the Orion Dominion Navy. Your species is unknown to us and you are near Orion space. I am glad to hear you come in peace, but we have heard that before. State you intentions in this region at once."

------

I did say my guys were kinda xenophobic. Plus the last three First Contacts their had were the Gli-Mullen, Skarosians and Phos-Phorids, all of whom tried to kill us. So, VX, be careful what you say :D
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.
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VX-145
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by VX-145 »

ESS Komi Shoko, somewhere to the Galactic South-West of Orion Space

"Well, aren't they a friendly bunch." Trixie leaned back, relatively confident they weren't going to get shot at immediately. These newcomers - the Orion Dominion - ougunned her force, and she wasn't looking for a fight in any case. "Alright, prepare to transmit, in Eigo since that's what they used to respond." And quite quickly, too - then, the Contact Package had been heavily improved since the first First Contact.

A nod from Starlight at Comms, and Trixie spoke again:

"Siege Perilous, this is the Komi Shoko. We are a scouting force looking for the base of a hostile power which raided our territory and that of our allies. They are known as the Yrch, and there is a system on our course which we hope might contain clues as to their location. Our species is "Human", but we are people from a polity known as "Endeavour". There are other human polities." They were probably on edge, given the derisive way they mentioned how they'd heard "we come in peace" before, so Trixie cleared her throat: "This space is not claimed by Endeavour or any of the other polities of which we have knowledge. We will depart if asked, though our scouting mission will continue along another route."

Trixie was under no pressure at all, and if she kept telling herself that, maybe she'd believe it.
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Eternal_Freedom
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Eternal_Freedom »

ODS Siege Perilous
Near Endeavour Scout Force


Fleetmaster Silas mulled over the new message carefully. He turned to his Chief of Staff.

"Search all databases for this "Yrch" they speak of. Prepare a data file on the unknown raiders that Gotterdamarung destroyed near Saiph. Also prepare a data-dump to the Command Council and keep it updated. Open communications to the Komi Shoko."

"Channel open Fleetmaster."

"Attention Endeavour forces, we are unfamiliar with the "Yrch" you speak of, but we have also encountered unknown raiders in one of our systems. We destroyed them. We are sending a data-file with images of the wreckage. Please advise if this is the same group. If they are then you will have an ally in the Orion Dominion, at least in terms of annihilating this threat."

He nodded again, and the data file was sent.

-------

OOC: the data-file is images of a destroyed Yrch dreadnought (by destroyed I mean "blown in two by a heavy mass driver round" and several lighter ships. We don't know what they're called of course, but they made the mistake of raiding a world when a Battle Squadron was in orbit. Oops.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.
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VX-145
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by VX-145 »

ESS Komi Shoko, somewhere to the Galactic South-West of Orion Space

Analysis of the file took moments, given that nearly every crew member on each ship had torn it open the moment it had been recieved by the Komi Shoko. While the ships weren't an exact match - Yrch shipbuilding being even less standardised than Endeavourite - it was clear they were indeed Yrch ships; they used the exact same model of railgun turret, the exact same fighter craft, and many of the modules were exactly the same. And, of course, there were the recovered bodies; they were definitely Yrch.

Trixie keyed her comm: Siege Perilous, this is Komi Shoko. We're sending our own data on our recovered Yrch, but it looks like they're one and the same." She took a breath, debating whether or not to share the next point, but keeping secrets never worked out. "We also have reason to suspect they are in league with another, Human, polity, though which polity is the superior in that relationship is as yet unknown. We can send you more files on Amazo-X - that polity - if you so desire. While your offer of assistance is much appreciated and accepted, we also understand if you wish to withdraw that if you think that the Yrch are thus an internal Human problem - though I would like to re-iterate and emphasise the fact that Amazo-X is a separate polity to Endeavour and other Human polities, and has in fact been consistently hostile towards all polities regardless of species; this extends to the point of attempting to commit genocide upon Endeavour. No other Human polity displays this behavour, to the best of Endeavour's knowledge."



[OOC: The Yrch don't have dreadnoughts, but they do employ a lot of parasite ships - the dreadnought could thus be a towed monitor sort of thing. That'd mechanically still mean one "heavy" ship effectively knocked out (though not destroyed) and lighter vessels similarly damaged.

The data package sent contains information on the recent Yrch raid versus Endeavour, which is detailed here and here, including post-battle analyses, questioning of prisoners, and the evidence for the Amazo-X/Yrch link. The package offered regarding Amazo-X contains what Endeavour knows of their history, details can be provided if needed but the key thing is that yes, Amazo-X did try to wipe Endeavour out in the past, and yes, they've been dicks to pretty much everyone else as well. Basic cultural information on Endeavour and the other polities has likely been transmitted as well, though of course there hasn't been much time to transmit more.]
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Eternal_Freedom
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Eternal_Freedom »

ODS Siege Perilous

Fleetmaster SIlas thanked the Endeavourites for the information and asked for a few moments to inspect them. He had his staff run comparisons on the ships, the bodies and the technology through the massive computers that controlled the dreadnought.

The results came back promptly. Silas mused over them before commenting to his Chief of Staff.

"Interesting. Clearly the same species though different - yet related - ship designs. That would be consistent with a scratch-built force of raiders. What matters is that these "Yrch" have attacked the Dominion and must be brought to account. Send the data dump to the Command Council and inform them I am taking the squadron on an independent mission to retaliate against this enemy in concert with a newly-encountered and apparently friendly species called "humans." Command will need to rotate another squadron to ready-alert status, I believe Sutekh and his group are nearly completed with their refits. Furthermore, summon the nearest six Explorers, we shall need their skills to find the enemy."

His Chief of Staff nodded once and moved off to carry out the orders. Silas once again opened a channel to the Endeavour fleet.

"Attention Komi Shoko, this is Siege Perilous. We have assessed the data you have provided and reached the same conclusion. These "Yrch" you seek are the same who attacked us. As they have launched such an unprovoked attack then we are automatically in a state of war with them. My squadron will join your efforts in eliminating this threat. I have called for some additional assets, namely scout vessels to find these vermin. They will arrive shortly."

He paused them, pondering his next words. He was a spacer, not part of the DIplomatic Branch, but all senior officers were required to cross-train with the Diplomats in case a situation like this arose.

"I also appreciate your honesty in telling us of this "Amazo-X" human polity and their possible involvement. I can assure you we do not, at present, hold any ill-will towards you or the nation of Endeavour. We would welcome any further data you are able to provide on this threat and will reciprocate with all data we have on the Yrch forces that attacked us, as well as basic cultural information on the Orion Dominion. I would also offer my apologies if we we caused offense, the last three species we made First Contact with each tried to wipe us out so we have become cautious of outsiders."

-------

OOC: So, the Orion squadron is fully on board with wiping out the Yrch and taking on Amazo-X if needs be. FYI, I referred to the big Yrch ship we killed as a "dreadnought" because a) I didn't realise at the time they didn't build them and b) that's the generic Orion term for "Major command ship" - since we don't have fighters or parasite craft, we don't have a term for carriers or motherships.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Shinn Langley Soryu »

For all the pomp and circumstance surrounding the Dystrophos summit, it amounted to nothing in the end. The Byzantine attache's faux pas had potentially destroyed diplomatic relations with the Theophanic Empire before they could properly begin, and further interactions with the Nashtari, Sector, and Endeavourite delegations ultimately proved to be fruitless. The Holy Empire's delegation left without a word as soon as the summit was officially concluded, and the SOS Imperial Navy's destroyer squadrons withdrew from the Cradle of the Stars shortly afterwards.

Back home, the Holy Imperial Congress quietly passed the first naval expansion bill to be drafted since Made in Heaven. As far as anyone in the Holy Empire was concerned, the Black Star posed a significant threat, and the Theophanics, Endeavourites, Nashtaris, or whoever was in the Sector could not be relied upon as allies. The Admiralty in particular had its own suspicions about the Theophanic Empire, especially in light of the report from HSS Okumura regarding the destruction of a habitable world by a ship matching the general description of Dystrophos. Amazo-X itself was largely an enigma, but what little could be gleaned from the Okumura report was enough to cast suspicion on it as well. In a hostile universe, it was prudent to be well-armed.
I ship Eino Ilmari Juutilainen x Lydia V. Litvyak.

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The Yosemite Bear: Obviously, which means that he's grounded, and that she needs to go back to sucking Mr. Coffee's cock.

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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by VX-145 »

Command Centre, Symmachia Geo-Front

"So, does anyone have a single fucking clue as to why one of our Evas self-activated? For someone who isn't a Child?" Katsuragi stared down the other members of the command staff - technically, in command of nothing, but you couldn't have a Geo-Front without a command staff. "Because I'm pretty sure they don't have souls, let alone Theophanic souls."

The reaction to that question could best be described as a laxadasical shrug, except for one: ever true to herself, Akagi decided to answer verbally. "No abnormalities were detected inside Unit 12-C's core or control systems. However, the restraint system didn't activate; the system flagged its self-activation and subsequent head movement as within operational parameters. A request for arm movement was blocked, which means the system was functioning. It seems to be a standard Type-3 Child self-activation, which is... fascinating. I would like to request Arthouros soi Fylachto for examination and a synchronisation test at some point while he's still on-planet." She took one look at Misato's face, which was distinctly unimpressed, and cleared her throat. "To answer the question, no. I don't know why Unit 12-C self-activated. I don't think further action needs to be taken, otherwise; the restraint system functioned as designed."

Hygua, gathering his courage, butted in: "We can't take the unit offline at this time; with the recent Angel Alert on Endeavour, we can't risk being caught at anything less than full strength."

"It wouldn't be full strength if it decides to go berserker in the middle of a battle." Misato let her words hang for a moment, then sighed. "Call in the boy, run your tests. It'll be a good gesture of goodwill, if nothing else.






ESS Komi Shoko, somewhere to the Galactic South-West of Orion Space

Trixie definitely did not let out a relieved sigh at Siege Perilous' (or, more likely, their commander's) words, nor did she wipe off a bead of sweat that had formed while the crew had awaited a response. Anypony saying otherwise was a liar and a fraud. She opened the comm again: "Siege Perilous, your assistance is appreciated and welcome. No offense was taken - we have a warfleet for very similar reasons. We're sending over what data we have from the raids on our allies' space, and look forwards to a cultural exchange. Basic operational data, including interlink procedures for our sensor networks, will be sent over as well. Our current operational plan is to discover the location of a Yrch base; we will then either destroy it, or conduct stand-off operations until reinforcements arrive, depending on its defensive capabilities. We will first be investigating a former Amazo-X planet for clues before moving in a general search pattern in the area outlined on Map 1/42 in the next data packet. If you have any suggestions regarding this, we'd be glad to hear them."

She closed the channel at that, double-checked to make sure it was closed, jammed her own data stream to make certain, and then turned to Mettaton at the helm. "Next time, you do the diplomatic talk."

MAP 1/42
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OOC: Entirely fair, mostly just mechanically (i.e. OOC) accounting for all the Yrch ships. Less busy now, but posts might still be a little slow regardless.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Eternal_Freedom »

Siege Perilous

Fleetmaster SIlas nodded appreciatively at the other commander's words. He turned once again to hsi Chief of Staff.

"Prepare the standard cultural data package for transmission." While Orion had a bad record with First Contact situations, they were still well-prepared. He was also slightly curious as to how these "Humans" would react to the overview of Orion physiology, he was rather doubtful the new species would confirm to the Orionoid standard. "Furthermore, begin full analysis of the data they have sent. Have the incoming Explorers divert to begin a standard search pattern of the indicated area, the Battle Squadron will travel to this "Amazo-X" planet in concert with the Endeavour force. The Explorers should follow standard combat search protocols, I do not believe we can be considered to be "at peace" any longer. All ships in our squadron will assume combat readiness condition two and will maintain this until further orders." The other officer nodded and moved off to their task.

"Tactical, once you receive the operational data begin integrating our sensor networks to avoid interference. Log any significant advantages or weaknesses you can deduce of their systems for future use." Helping them destroy a common enemy did not translate to "close friends" after all, and any notable deficienies in their equipment could form a basis for possible future trading.

"Squadron navigation, plot a course to this "Amazo-X" planet as a precaution, we will follow their lead for the moment. Also calculate the shortest-time escape path from the target world to Rigel and distribute to all Squadron vessels."

Silas opened the comm channel once again. "Komi Shoko, we will await your operational and navigational data and are sending the data we offered in return, it should arrive shortly. I have ordered our Explorers to begin a search pattern of your indicated area, my squadron will accompany you to the first target world in the meantime. We shall await the course data from your navigators once you have accounted for our drive speeds. May martial fortune smile upon our joint...endeavour." The last word was said with a smile at the pun, and more than a few of his command staff laughed quietly. Orion humour was one aspect of their culture that had never been properly translated, or accepted, by other species.

He had one final order. "Send the full data-dump to the Command Council. Include the full data packets from the Endeavour ships and advise them I am taking the squadron on a joint punitive operation against these raiders. Further updates to follow."

----

OOC: I think that wraps up the initial diplomatic exchange.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Rogue 9 »

Edge of Holy Empire of Haruhi Suzumiya Space
Bridge of NRS Sherwood
Day 1, Week 12, Turn 2


On the edge of the Haruhiist holdings, a single Nashtari frigate emerged from slipspace before promptly issuing a general hail on the frequencies used by the Haruhiist destroyer squadron that Nashtar had encountered in the nebula.

“This is Captain Tomas Hagedorn of the NRS Sherwood, First Fleet Nashtar, hailing the government and fleet of the Holy Empire of Haruhi Suzumiya. We approach on a diplomatic mission, carrying the embassy of the Republic of Nashtar. Request instructions, over.” The captain let go of the comms switch. “And now we wait.”

“Conn, Navigation. Sir, I’m running the regular position check, and… these stars aren’t right.”

“What do you mean, Lieutenant?”

“Sir, there are half a dozen stellar bodies picked up on the long range scanners that aren’t on the charts, but visual sensors don’t register their light from this position. Something’s changed out here, Captain.”

“Ops, Conn. Confirm Navigation’s findings.”

“Conn, Ops. Looking at the sensor readouts, I believe Lieutenant Conway is correct. There are new stellar bodies in the sector, sir. I cannot account for it.”

“Hmmm. Perhaps the Holy Empire can explain. Carry on. We can’t do much else until we hear from them or someone shows up.”
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by VX-145 »

Former Amazo-X Home System

The newly combined fleet had taken no chances; no fewer than half the available scout ships had been assigned to the initial sweep of the Amazo-X home system*, with escorting forces concealed in the system's outer comet belt. The others were covering the force's flanks, making sure no-one was going to jump in and ambush them. The flight over had been, quiet, neither side able to communicate with the other outside of a few pre-planned stops, and the Endeavourite contingent had had plenty of time to assimilate the information sent over.

While no-one batted an eye at Orion physiology, their history and modern culture - or rather, the genocidal aspects of the same - was somewhat more controversial; those discussion threads had been spun off into their own sub-forum on the fleet's network, and the impact back home could only be speculated. Of course, Endeavour already had decent relations with at least some Theophanic genia, and they'd blown up a planet, so it wasn't like there was no precedent for getting along with otherwise repulsive polities, which in turn left any major decisions back in the hands of the people back home - which seemed to be aligning with a diplomatic approach. Which, given the Orion's historical files seemed to indicate their genocides were carried out in response to attempted genocides on their own populations, was probably the safest course of action.

All that aside, though, there was still a system to be surveyed. The escorting force dropped into the Oort cloud and went into silent running; shortly after, the scout ships emerged from hyperspace (or Orion equivalent) nearby... only to re-enter, having detected a single Amazo-X Factory Ship in orbit around the destroyed planet. It seemed to be conducting salvage operations, and after a brief consultation between the two forces, they decided to hit it with overwhelming firepower.

The Orion forces had a mixed reaction to the target system. The massive factory-ship orbiting the planet was interesting from an academic sense - and a number of detailed scans were duly sent back to the Lazarus Fleet Yards as a possible model for next-generation support vessels for long-duration deep space missions, both military or exploratory - but from a tactical perspective it was unimpressive.

The ship itself was fairly well armed in absolute terms, comparable to one of Orion's Nemesis battlecruisers, but in per-tonnage terms it was pitiful, clearly intended for emergency self-defence only. The data on this, and the fact that the Yrch had abandoned such a valuable asset or even deployed fixed defences around it. They had not even positioned minefields around the ship to thin out approaching contacts.

Fleetmaster Silas reached an initial conclusion: these Yrch and Amazo-X entities were skilled at building things even under very unfavourable conditions, but they had very little in the way of tactical knowledge or (possibly) institutional memory of space combat operations. Strategic thinking also appeared limited, geared more towards commercial success than military victory. This was deemed consistent with the idea of a race using technology they didn't understand and had only been given comparatively recently.

The combined force dropped out of hyperspace in optimum engagement range, properly aligned and fully armed. There were no messages sent, no calls for surrender of offers of mercy. Under Dominion Law these enemies were already under sentence of death. The Orion dreadnought and the two battlecruisers opened the brief engagement with a volley of a half-dozen heavy mass driver rounds fired at maximum velocity. The six massive slugs crossed the distance in seconds and tore six gaping holes through the huge factory-ship all along it's length. Then came a hail of hypervelocity rounds from the capital ship's secondary batteries and the escort's spinal weapons, along with a swarm of antimatter-tipped missiles to finish off the mortally wounded target.

For their part, the Endeavourite forces didn't even have time to fire a single shot, though a few rounds were duly put through the hulk to show willing and, of course, to carve human genitalia into one hull plate. That essential task complete, they paused to absorb the lessons learned from the battle (namely: do not be on the receiving end of an ambush, or big guns - old lessons, but good ones) before splitting apart to conduct salvage and information recovery operations. Next to nothing could be learned from the planet itself, the Kreigsgott's plunge thorougly having wrecked the place, though security footage did confirm that Bezos was confined to some sort of life support apparatus.

The wreckage of the ship, on the other hand (or occasionally, hoof), revealed some interesting pieces of information - not least being that Amazo-X had evacuated their entire industry off-world before the planet had been destroyed. Where it had been evacuated to was unknown, except for the location of a refuelling base used by Amazo-X freighters... and, in the ship's logs, a reference to sharing a bay there with a Yrch ship.

The Orion analysis was more prosaic; this was a powerful but unskilled enemy. Their analysis of their temporary partner's actions was also quite simple. The Endeavourites were willing to fight but may not be willing to do everything necessary for the desired Orion victory. This would bear careful consideration in future.





*Which had remained un-named by those who had settled upon it.
The Orion perspective parts of this post were written by Eternal_Freedom.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Rogue 9 »

Beta 1264
Bridge of the NRS Pitch


“Conn, Sensors. We’ve completed the sweep of the system. No sign of habitation to report, sir.”

“Sensors, Conn, aye,” responded Captain Carlton, scrolling through the report at his command chair. “Helm, Conn, set course for…”

"Belay previous report Captain, we've got something on the long range scanner. Looks like high energy weapons signatures at interstellar range. Vector plotted. Attempting to isolate location from signal strengths now."

"No time for that," Carlton answered. "Helm, Conn. Set course for deep space at a right angle to the vector Sensors is giving you. Engage slipspace drive and move us five light years out for triangulation."

"Aye, Captain." The frigate's engines engaged and swung the bow around to the proper course. A moment later, the ship tore open a slipspace rift and entered, disappearing from the system as quickly as she came.
______________________________________________

Deep Space

The frigate dropped out of slipspace a few minutes later and engaged sensors without delay.

"Position triangulated, Captain," came the call from the sensor officer.

"Navigation?"

"One moment, sir." The officer at the nav station worked furiously over his star chart. "It looks like we're dealing with the N-374 system, Captain. Current records do not indicate whether or not the system is settled."

"Well, we're about to find out," answered the captain. "Helm, set course for the N-374 system. Engage stealth fields."

The ship tore open and entered a rift again, this time to remain in slipspace for a much longer time.
______________________________________________

N-374 System Kuiper Belt- Nashtari astronomical designation for former Amazo-X System
NRS Pitch


"Reversion in thirty seconds."

"Confirm stealth fields operational."

"Confirmed, Captain. All stealth equipment is activated and functioning normally."

"Acknowledged. Rig ship for silent running. General quarters; all hands to battle stations."

Captain Carlton's command was carried out at once, as extraneous electronic equipment was deactivated shipwide. Most crew were already at their battle stations and had been for several minutes, but the few that weren't scrambled for their duty stations as klaxons briefly went off. The ship's lighting went from normal white to red, signifying the silent running order.

"Reversion in five. Four. Three. Two. One. Mark."

The white of slipspace was replaced by the starfield, and the N374 star loomed relatively large in the front viewscreen.

"Sensors, Conn, analysis?"

"Conn, Sensors. Reading a large battle fleet in the system, sir. Details are coming in now; it looks like there's been a battle, but the shooting's over."

"Acknowledged. Keep up passive scanning. Now we'll see if they can pick us up."
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Elheru Aran »

Listening Post Beta
Farpoint Deep Space Listening Array
Republic of Nashtar


Lance-Corporal (Second Class) Smith was incredibly bored. He’d pulled all the strings he could to get out of the way of being detailed to deal with all the events happening lately. First the ruckus with these Theophanics with their giant ships crashing right into the middle of a nest of pirates, and a whole bunch of other nations showing up right about the same time. Then these Yrch started attacking, and he knew it was only a matter of time before his ship in the Third Fleet got sent bug-hunting. No thank you. A quiet post out of the way for LC2 Smith… only it was too quiet. Especially on the late-night shift.

At the moment, presently he had his feet up on the console, leaning back at a dangerous angle while he slowly unfolded a lengthy centerfold out of the magazine he was holding. Sure, it was old-fashioned and cost about five times more than an electronic version, but some things you couldn’t beat… and then the screaming began.

The chair, and LC2 Smith in it, promptly fell backwards. He scrambled to his feet, reached out and grabbed the headphones he’d left on the console, and clapped them on his head while he adjusted the volume. The screaming had cut out abruptly, but lights were starting to twinkle across his console. All of them reading as Khemplari signals.

He didn’t hesitate. The protective cover over the big red alarm button was lifted, and said red button was promptly depressed with alacrity. Klaxons began going off, footsteps began going up and down the corridors, and a tall Ronoghan ran in, tucking a pajama shirt into the top of trousers as he did so. Smith snapped a salute and barked, “Sir! Reporting priority one distress calls from the Khemplari State, sir!”

Lieutenant Orbahn-Ahn, its skin slowly changing from ‘alarmed’ to ‘purposeful’ hues, sketched a salute back and responded sharply, “Let us have it. What are they reporting?”

“I’m not sure, sir,” Smith responded, “but you’d better listen for yourself…”

The translation software beeped on cue and Smith quickly pressed the ‘speaker’ button.

[indistinct screaming]

...Mayday! Mayday! To all Khemplari ships nearby! We are under attack-- [static]

[explosion, gunfire] Well take that you [untranslatable slang]! [gunfire]

This is Korit Belt Stations calling for help! We are under attack by a massive ship and many smaller craft! They have boarded with massive force and we are resisting, but we cannot hold out for much longer! Send help, or send revenge! This is-- [static, more gunfire]


The translation cut off at that point and Smith traded looks with the Ronoghan officer.

Then a crackle across the signal, a more powerful broadcast cutting into the Khemplari distress call. Instinctively, Smith turned up the gain and turned the volume down.

Por Bezo kaj Lon, ni ofertas ĉi tiun oferon.
Por la premio, kiun ili donis al ni, ni dankas.
Por la novaj stelŝipoj, ni verŝas sangon.
Ni militos en via nomo sub la granda Okulo!


The Khemplari signal cut out abruptly. They had no idea what had been said, but both of them knew that couldn’t be anything good. Orbanhn-Ahn sighed. “I shall go report this. You keep monitoring the channels. We’ll be needing recordings of all these signals. Carry on.”

Smith saluted again as the Ronoghan turned around and strode out, presumably heading towards the command center of the listening post. He sighed, bent over and picked up his chair, and sat in it as he began poking buttons to compile disks of the past few minutes’ broadcasts.

It could be worse, he supposed. He could have been there. And the Ronoghan Lieutenant could’ve noticed the magazine cast aside on the floor, or the fact that Smith had unbuttoned his uniform jacket and taken his shoes off…

Radio Ochrysosmenos, Ochrysosmenos

NEWSREADER: ...our best wishes are with the families of the officers and crew of the Theotita, as I am sure all faithful Theophanic citizens’ are.

Now, we have a guest today, Anthrosasteri First Class Baavo 382 apo ten Raab, recently arrived on the Evlogies tou Theouautokratora from our new allies of Endeavour. He has been extremely successful in trade with the Endeavourites, and we were fortunate to secure his time for a short interview. Kyrie Baavo, thank you very much for being here.

BAAVO: Ah, nah, thank ye!

NEWSREADER: Well, let’s get right to the point, sir. How did you manage your extraordinary success?

BAAVO: Well, see, ‘tis quite simple. I has a friend on Symmachia, see? ‘E did write me a letter, and ‘e tells me, these Endeavourites are mad for cheese. They don’t have no cows, don’t you know. They stand about gawkin’ at the cows we brought to Symmachia like so many nonnies…

NEWSREADER: Most interesting. Cheese, you say?

BAAVO: Aye, cheese ‘deed. So me and a few mates cobbled together some Imperials and bought us a great wheel of fine cheese from Agrotikma, full two hundred Agro pound. ‘Tis a half ounce lighter than your Ochrysosmenos pound, mind, but even so, ye understand this was a sizeable cheese.

NEWSREADER: Ah, yes, I’ve had some of that myself. Quite good, isn’t it?

BAAVO: Sure and it is, and we had it lodged on the old Evlogies. Passed by Symmachia on our way, so we did, and I made sure to stop and tell my old chap ‘ello, so I did. Then we got to Endeavour, and that was some excitement, I tells you.

NEWSREADER: Oh, absolutely, I’m sure. Do go on.

BAAVO: So once me work was concluded, ye do know unloadin’ the freight and all that, I gets together with one of the cabin-boys I promised a few centi-Imps of the share, and we just wheels that cheese straight down the gangplank. One of the Endeavourites was happy to give us a ride on ‘is lorry down a lovely square of theirs, and we set up a lovely table wi’ a wee burner, half a dozen loaves of bread we swiped from the commissary, and that cheese on top.

NEWSREADER: Had they ever seen cheese such as ours?

BAAVO: Nay, what they call cheese is a sad mess of vegetable proteins and fats. Oh, it would pass if ye were hungry, i’fact I do believe some of the lower kypseli produce summat like as a substitute, but it’s no the same, and I tells you a fact.

NEWSREADER: Quite right. You were saying you set up…?

BAAVO: So we did, that’s right. I set the cabin-boy to standing at divers corners of the square, bellowin’ summat along th’ lines of ‘fine cheese, fine cheese for sale, come try some, entirely free’. And do I tell you, ‘twas the fastest vanishing cheese you did ever see!

NEWSREADER: Oh, they liked that, did they?

BAAVO: Sure and that was the fastest two hundred pound wheel of cheese you ever did see sell, my good sir. Not only did they buy cheese, they tried it, for I cut a wedge out and grilled bits of it on bread, and they couldn’t get enough, I tell you true!

NEWSREADER: Remarkable! And, we are given to understand that the Endeavourites do not use… money? How were you able to make out like a Drakon, so to speak?

BAAVO: ‘tis true, sir. No money at all. But her ladyship the Ferrywoman kindly posted a notice about all the mercantile craft, informing us of the fact. And that gives me an idea, sir.

NEWSREADER: Oh, yes? What’s that?

BAAVO: Why, just say summat like, “and what shall thee give me for this cheese then, sir or mam?” And they name a thing or two, ‘tis all manners of things you could think of. One said they would give me a starship, another a glass of water, one a box-full of wee figurines of half-clothed girls…

NEWSREADER: Ahem! And you took all that in payment for cheese?

BAAVO: Well, not all that, I couldn’t very well pack a starship away could I? Truth is, ‘twas not in Endeavour I made my fortune.

NEWSREADER: You don’t say.

BAAVO: I do say, sir. For I took all that Endeavourite stock, put it away in my locker, gave the cabin-boy a few pieces, returned to the Empire and I promptly sold the lot. Got a good twelve hundred Imperials for the ‘personal computer’ from a technognostiki, so did I!

NEWSCASTER: Goodness! So that is how you made your fortune, kyrie Baavo?

BAAVO: Nay, sir, ‘twasn’t.

NEWSCASTER: Uh… pardon?

BAAVO: My uncle Baavo 84, of the Morway and Baavo chandlery on Raabstertiary kypseli? ‘E passed, Theoua hold his soul close, and ‘e named me inheritor in ‘is will, so ‘e did.

NEWSCASTER: ...thank you, kyrie Baavo. We’ll be back after these messages.

Twenty-one-hundred hours tonight, ‘Stars in Theoua’s Eyes’ returns! Will Duke soi Midenikos find his way home from the long campaign in Ilion? His beloved spouse, Enelope, seduced by a legion of lechers! Brave Thenas, strong warrior of the Duke, has a hard choice to make between the dark Wadcharas and the fair Blian. soi Midenikos’ daughter Atys searches for her father across the stars! Only on Radio Ochrysosmenos!

“Wago”, ladies and gentlemen, the most perfect cleansing agent you may discover! Try it, and you shall find, this is the Wago!

Dapper Danu! A pomade for all men, from genia to Wachter to pliveios! Don’t use Fop, for we are Dapper Danu men!

This broadcast is brought to you by kind sponsorship of Genis soi Hapax, and Oracio’s Aftokinitos! We will not be undersold! Visit at all hours, Ochrysosmenos Central! Our service will make you feel like a Hapax, and you’ll ride away in style befitting the genia!



Symmachia
Pribnow Box, Geofront


“That’s excellent, Arthouros. We’ll begin removing you from the simulation body in a moment. You’ve been so cooperative!”

As Ritsuko took her hand down from her ear and turned towards the small clump of Theophanics anxiously watching her, she blinked, taken slightly aback. Stefon couldn’t blame her, Erhard exuded anxiety just from his… rather tall but not bad looking at all, she had to admit… posture. She cleared her throat and inquired, “Yes?”

“Well?” Erhard asked quickly before Stefon could ask… well, pretty much the same, but a little more politely. She gently placed a hand on his shoulder, but apart from a quick surprised look at her, the Wachter remained focused on the Endeavourite scientist, who was cleaning her glasses on a surprisingly dainty handkerchief. Dr. Akagi’s glasses finally polished to her liking, she slid them back up her nose and picked up a tablet sitting on the console by her.

“Well, Erhard, Arthouros is perfectly fine. In excellent health. And somehow, he’s synchronizing exceptionally well with the simulation body,” responded Ritsuko. She rubbed her chin and poked the tablet before going on, “How that might work with a proper Evangelion unit, we’re not sure, but whatever the circumstances, he’s certainly falling well within the parameters we use to qualify potential Evangelion pilot candidates.”

Erhard shook his head adamantly. “This is inexplicable as far as I’m concerned. You’re telling me that a child from a culture thousands of light-years away, that’s thousands of years older than yours, is somehow compatible with one of your... uh… what in the nine hells are they even anyway?”

“You can just say machines, you know,” was the dry answer from Colonel Katsuragi, sitting over at the side of the control room, legs extended in front of her and slouching down in the chair. “We won’t be offended. Promise.”

“Whatever, they are,” Stefon jumped in before Erhard could fire back, “We are certainly fascinated by this… coincidence, or whatever it may be. Certainly we will cooperate with you in investigating this. Won’t we, Erhard?”

The Wachter stood erect and stiff. “This isn’t supposed to happen, you know. Random shit. And there is no way he can possibly be associated with your Endeavourite contraptions in any way.”

Ritsuko shrugged and poked a few more times at her tablet. A broad ologramma sprang to life on the wall of the control centre, and reflexively they all turned to look at it.

EVANGELION UNIT 12-C

DOB: 5/13/157AW

GENETIC DERIVATION: PENDRAGON

[long paragraphs, complex scientific depictions of DNA, etc]

GOD’S IN HER HEAVEN, ALL’S RIGHT WITH THE WORLD


Pointing at some of the diagrams, Ritsuko began some kind of undoubtedly lengthy explanation, which Stefon managed to cut off by the simple expedient of waving her hand. “Excuse me. Thank you. Er, this is meaningless to us. Can you just sum up?”

The doctor sighed. “It may have to do with some genetic traits or other of Arthouros’. I would like to research his family line-- soi Fylachto, you said it was?-- if possible.”

Stefon shrugged and looked at the still-tense Wachter beside her. “I’m sure it would be possible. Isn’t it, Erhard?”

He blinked and his tone changed. “I suppose. I’ll ask Arthouros about it.”

“In the meantime,” Katsuragi cut in from her seat, “would it be possible for you two to remain on Symmachia?”

Erhard sighed. Stefon interjected, “I’ll send a note in the next packet to Mitra requesting that Erhard be assigned to the Wachter contingent on Keravnos, and detail Arthouros there as a part of the cadet complement as well. That should take care of that.”

“Really?! We can stay??” chirped a cheerful voice from the side of the control room. Arthouros ran in, wearing what Stefon recognized as an Endeavourite ‘plugsuit’ with two small plastic wedges in his hair-- no, actually on some kind of plastic band stuck on his head but his hair covered most of it-- accompanied by Shinji in a similar outfit, though different colours. She blinked. Shinji had stayed back-- oh, this must be a different Shinji. Would she ever get used to this?
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VX-145
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by VX-145 »

The Memorial Memorial Arena Memorial Arena, Endeavour System

It was quite remarkable just how much the Arena had changed since the tankwondo exhibition match; there was, for a start, a giant void where the terrain had been. Kharon had been invited to view an exhibition of one of Endeavour's other combat sports, followed by some sort of concert and film showing - the details hadn't been clear. Nevertheless, it was the sort of thing diplomats were supposed to do, so she'd attended, along with Miko. Aside from the terrain change, other oddities stood out; there were patches of cloud and rain, and even flashes of lightning off in the distance. There were also a lot of blue-haired heads in the audience, moreso than the usual scattering.

"Rei likes to fly," was Miko's answer, which made some sort of sense to someone, presumably.

"All of them?" Kharon pressed.

"Approximately eighty-six percent of all OG Reis Ayanami express a strong affinity with flight, as do ninety-three percent of Rei-forms," a familiar soft voice said from one of the neighbouring seats. "I am one of them."

"Sovereign Protector," Kharon inclined her head. Miko, of course, just settled for a jovial "Hey, Rei!".

"Captains," Ayanami replied. "But yes, it is rather strange; nothing in our origins suggests such a desire. At least with the pie thing, there is a known origin. With flight, however... I suppose it shows how little we really know."

The two captains took their seats; there was still plenty of time before the first exhibition. "I still wonder why Endeavour is so blase about knowing nothing about where so many of their people come from," Kharon mused, holding up a hand to ward off the approaching snack vendor. Miko, for her part, took two packs of fries, and of course there was the inevitable pie for Ayanami. "Don't mistake me, I do not wish to see them turned away or such, but it still feels strange to me."

Ayanami put her pie on the little table in front of her seat. “They cause no harm, and bring many benefits.”

"And everybody loves 'em," Miko added.

"There is that." The pie was retrieved, and Ayanami continued: “This place would be less lively without them.”

They’d talked over the introductions, but Kharon found it relatively easy to catch up nonetheless; the match seemed to be the usual one team versus another, only with ancient-looking aircraft that relied on aerodynamic lift to stay aloft. The actual aircraft were far less eclectic a bunch than the tanks had been, and she found herself relying on the different colours and iconography just to tell which aircraft belonged to which team. Still, the Endeavourite penchant for showing off and wild tactics was unchanging; the thunderstorm was constantly filled with aircraft flying through it at high speed, sometimes using errant lightning to strike down an approaching missile, or just to shake a pursuer. One team eventually won by a rather large margin; once the other team lost a few members, it was easy for the victor to pick off the rest. It was… vaguely interesting, though Kharon had half-expected someone to exploit the score system by bringing a glider.

“It’s a pity that girl’s busy,” Miko said, during the cooldown, “Her flying is something else entirely.”

“That girl?” That was surprisingly nonspecific - unless… “That one who snuck aboard the Mega?” Another surprise, Kharon hadn’t taken that one for a fighter, but Miko nodded.

“She practically invented the starfighter, you know, and yes, it was against drones, but in terms of shoot-downs she’s the highest scoring ace in Endeavour history.” Before Miko could continue, Ayanami stood up, one hand to her ear. Her voice was hushed but urgent, and after a few seconds she leaned down to Kharon.

“Our scout fleet just made another First Contact,” she said. “Not with the Yrch - someone entirely new. I’ll send you the details later.”

Some illuminating extracts from discussion threads on the Orion first contact.
-that the issue is one of responsibility. Do we even know when these sick acts were carried out? It could well be a case akin to that of the United States. Besides, do the people bear responsibility for the actions of their military?
Well, I'm from Buenos Aires and I say, kill 'em all!
damned fool. "let's just stick our collective dicks in the face of the notorious dick-ripper of Alaman 5! surely it won't rip our dicks off!"
Not like there isn't precedent; lots of habs are still buddy-buddy with the Theophanics, despite them ramming a planet to death and being, y'know, an actual feudal monarchy. Hell, we're okay with the Nashtari and they're one step away from Capitalism. Besides, what do you want Endeavour to do? Kick the door down with particle beam lances and end up in a quagmire for the next century, achieve literally nothing and end up turning into a fucking empire?
There has got to be a middle ground between that and just letting them commit genocide multiple times without consequence...
There is, and it's the same path we're taking with everyone else - protect ourselves, show them the better path. It's a slow and difficult strategy, but it works, unlike-




Helios System, Nashtar Space

Nyallone stared at the email on her display, and let out a long sigh. As if things weren't busy enough with the Theophanics being... Theophanic. With a wave of her hand, she opened up her connection to the local phone system, and punched in the number she'd been given for the State Department. It took a while for the other end to pick up, which was understandable, and the voice on the other end was a little strained: "Good afternoon, this is Minister Roshin-Pan, how can I help you?"

"You remember that scouting fleet the Protectorate sent out? Well, they ran into another alien polity; things are friendly right now, but these guys seem a little... intense. I'm sending you what we have on them."

She could have sworn there was a slight hiss of some sort of curse, and then the Minister spoke again, with a much calmer voice. "We appreciate you bringing this to our attention. I must apologise, but current events demand my attention elsewhere?"

Nyallone waved a hand in a generous fashion, despite knowing the other end couldn't see it. "Yeah, yeah, with the Theophanics. Just best to tell you these things ace-ap, nya'know?"
Fuck.
"Anyaways, ciao." With that, she put the phone down, and double-checked the tommy gun - the Theophanics were probably here on a diplomatic mission, but, well, you never knew.


OOC: Both the Nashtari and Theophanic governments have been passed along any information on the Orion Dominion that Endeavour possesses thus far. IC, this is just a thing Endeavour does, because information wants to be free; OOC, it's to justify both independently reaching out to the Dominion if they so choose.
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Elheru Aran
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Elheru Aran »

Endeavour System, Endeavour
Main Hab, Level 1337


Force of habit, Kharon supposed, shaking her head at herself as the taxi zoomed off down the street, steam billowing from its exhaust in the light drizzle. She was bemused because she had flipped the driver a coin from her pocket, a Theophanic ten-Imperial gold coin, and the driver had asked her if there was chocolate in it…

Forget the money, though. Why was it drizzling inside a hab module floating in vacuum? She shook her head to herself. It was an Endeavourite thing, and there was nothing to do but accept it. She had to admit it was certainly… atmospheric. To business, then.

Protector Ayanami hadn’t blinked at her request. She must have guessed Kharon would ask about being augmented for ambience access sometime soon. It was a reasonable enough request for someone who might expect to engage regularly with their Endeavourite counterparts. Ayanami had nodded calmly, placed a call and within minutes the taxi, a colorful yellow ground-car vehicle, had pulled up outside Megakolymvitis’ mooring for her.

It had taken her to this level of the hab, and here she stood outside… a store. A rather unprepossessing edifice behind a slightly nauseating neon sign. She took a deep breath and pulled the door open.

A bell tinkled as she walked through, entering into a dark room lit mostly by a dim lamp on the counter and the blinking of the neon sign outside. A beaded curtain at the back of the space tinkled as a broad… scaled paw? separated the beads. Almost painfully slowly, a hunched figure stepped through, and she squinted in the dimness. Then her eyes widened.

The small, dark figure stepped into the light and stretched forth a strangely long neck, blinking wide dark eyes. It was… a bipedal turtle. She had no words, but she managed to stop gawking after a moment. It spoke, “Ah, lady soi Chelonis. Welcome to my humble establishment. I am Oogway. How may I help you?”

Kharon cleared her throat hastily. “Ahem. Yes. Hello. My pleasure to meet you. Lady Ayanami recommended your services to me.”

Oogway looked up at her beadily, then a slight smile cracked on its underbitten beak of a jaw. “I would ask which Ayanami you mean, but I have some idea. Come with me.”

It crooked a claw at her as it turned around slowly, leaning on a Y-shaped cane that she hadn’t noticed earlier, and led her slowly through the curtain into a back room. She blinked as suddenly bright, flat white fluorescents came on and revealed what appeared to be a surgical theater… apart from the wide array of electronics and various unexplainable gadgets along the walls around the somewhat dilapidated operating table. Lights hung from ceiling-mounted arms above the table, and various rolling carts stood about it, numerous instruments laid out on them.

Worryingly, there was a large smear of blood around the floor drain, and she darted a quick look at Oogway, who was calmly sitting down on a stainless-steel stool. The turtle placidly gestured at another nearby stool, and after a moment of trepidation she sat down. Oogway blinked at her and smiled again. “Ignore the blood. It’s for atmosphere. People expect certain things in a place like this.”

She nodded uncertainly. The turtle nodded back and continued, “So. You have options. The pill. The needle. The surgery.”

“Ah, yes,” she responded, feeling a little more confident, “Which one will… I suppose, lay me up the least? I have many responsibilities. If this is not a simple procedure…”

Oogway shrugged. “It is up to you. I suppose the glasses are not enough?”

Kharon thought about that for a moment and then shook her head no. “They are not… customizable? At least not by me. I need some way to… interact, interface, whatever, with Endeavourites, and it needs to be something that I won’t forget and leave in my chambers or something.”

He nodded again. “I understand. You are not the first one to seek ambience, you know.”

That quirked her curiosity. “If I may ask?”

He smiled slightly and blinked slowly. “You may. A couple of your crew, I believe. His Excellency the Right Honourable Justinian soi Foinix was here just the other day.”

She was taken off guard by that. “Justinian soi Foinix?! That… well, no wonder, I suppose that explains some things. Very well, Oogway, if you can answer my question? Which one will take me out of action for the longest time?”

Oogway tapped the bottom of his beak (his chin, she supposed) and then responded carefully. “The pill may be best, I think. The needle is fast, but may be uncomfortable. Surgery will give you the most options, but depending on how much you want, may take as long as several months to recover.”

At that she shook her head. “No surgery. I don’t need all the upgrades. Just the ability to access visuals and communication. Actually, let’s do the needle. Whatever that is. Fast is what I want.”

The turtle nodded slowly and turned slowly to the desk he sat besides. He reached carefully into the shelves behind it and retrieved a large bottle, out of which he produced a pill and handed it to her. Then he came to his feet with a low grunt and slowly walked over to a nearby sink, filled a cup with water and handed it to her. “Take that. One moment.”

Kharon looked at Oogway as he stepped over to the table and began rummaging on a tray, then shrugged and took the pill, tipping the water down her throat. When she put the cup down, she stared. He was holding a massive needle the length of her arm, a long flexible tube dangling from it. She leaped to her feet and cleared her throat. “Ah, is that strictly necessary--?”

He snorted. “This isn’t for you. This is for that.” With the point of the needle, he indicated a large glass tank on the wall, full of some bubbling grey substance. At her blank look, he sighed and continued, “Relax. Have a seat on the table. This should only take a few minutes.”

With some trepidation she complied as Oogway busied himself, sliding the needle into some complicated looking plumbing around the tank and hooking it up via the tube to more plumbing besides the surgical table. An insulated box was opened, revealing what appeared to be an autoclave interior, From that he produced what appeared to be an IV line and a, she was relieved to note, sterile needle. She deduced the following steps and before he turned to her, she had already taken off her coat and rolled up her sleeve.

A few moments’ work and she was sitting back on the table as he tipped it up for her comfort. He tapped the tank of grey goo speculatively and nodded. “It is flowing well. The nanomachines are lively. Half of Endeavour will tell you, I have the best cultures.”

She had no idea what he was talking about, but she nodded agreeably. Nothing hurt so far other than the prick of the needle in her arm. In fact, she was feeling pleasantly mellow, like she’d had a few drinks. Not for the first time, though, she wondered why she went along with all this insanity so complacently…

Oogway was true to his word, after but a few minutes of puttering about he was back at her side, smoothly removing the intravenous feed and deftly bandaging her arm. She put her coat back on, reflexively her hand went to her inside pocket and this time she managed to refrain. Somehow she had an impression that offering the ancient turtle payment would be offensive or something. Instead, she awkwardly sketched a half-bow, to which the turtle smiled broadly and inclined its head before she left the shop and hailed another taxi.

As the taxi took off and began navigating back to the Arsenal docks, her handscreen chimed and she pulled it out. An unknown number. She frowned and clicked the message.

Forgot to tell you. Next few toilets, very interesting. Harmless. Enjoy. --O

She blinked at that. Well, nothing to do about it.

The evening passed quickly enough. She couldn’t sense anything out of the ordinary. Had she been scammed? Unlikely. The Endeavourites had been utterly trustworthy thus far in her experience. Perhaps it was something to do with Theophanic biology, but as far as she knew they were identical to the basic Endeavourite stock for the most part. She was a bit tired, but she went to bed at her usual hour after exchanging messages with Miyasawa. She hadn’t told Miko about it yet.

In the morning...

“Hello! It looks like you’re new to the Ambience!” blared a voice and she started, sitting upright in her bed.

In front of her hovered an animated… twist of wire with eyes.


Helios System, Republic of Nashtar
Helios III
Union City Starport


The port-labourers stood away from their work and gawked as the gigantic barque slowly descended through the dusky sprinkle of an early-morning Union City shower. Clad in shimmering banners of many colours and projecting a massive ologramma of the Theophanic and soi Hapax arms conjoined, the ship was a blindingly… large glow against the clouds above, nearly the size of a Nashtari escort vessel. The Prince-Bishop soi Hapax was coming to Nashtar, and he wanted them to know it.

As the ship ponderously settled in the middle of the largest landing pad they had available, normally used for bulk container freight, vehicles sped urgently through the runways and helicopters approached to orbit. They heeded the warning pings emitted from auto-defenses secreted among the statuary encrusting the diplomatic barge, but nonetheless, both the visual sensors of the Republic military and the cameras of its press were urgently focused upon the massive Theophanic lander.

Armoured cars covered in urban camouflage rapidly encircled the barque as huge portals upon its side slowly slid open and armoured troops began filing out in lock-step, blank masked faces ignoring the curious soldiers poking their heads out of the Nashtari vehicles. The Theophanic troopers, bearing a mix of long-arms and curiously wrought pole-weapons, crisply formed lines flanking the ramp as more soldiers in even more ornate armour stepped through. Finally, a broad-shouldered trooper, un-helmeted for once though wearing a broad cap with a massive feather thrust through it, descended the ramp and headed directly towards the nearest armoured vehicle, almost daintily holding a cape up in one hand above the puddles littering the tarmac.

He came to stiff attention and saluted, clicking his booted heels together, before running a finger over his proud moustache and bellowing sharply, “Oi! Are yew the reception committee, then?”

A hatch cracked open on the side of the Nashtari armoured vehicle and an armoured soldier of similar stature stepped through. As he straightened up they looked over each other and then the Nashtari clicked open his faceplate to show narrowed eyes, a boxer’s nose… and a similarly glorious (albeit completely non-regulation) moustache. He cleared his throat and responded, “Do you have a permit for that vehicle there, then?”

The Theophanic soldier’s mustache twitched, and he smoothed it down hastily before responding, “I believe all the necessary documentation was filed, sirrah. If ye lot would be so kind as to escort us to your… State Department, I believe ‘twas, specifically the office of one Shelton?”

The Nashtari’s thick eyebrow vanished into his helmet, but he nodded slowly. “I’ll have to communicate with my superiors, but that can be arranged,” he grunted, “but you do know you’re putting quite a few people out with the dog and pony show?”

An elegant shrug with a nearly-subsonic hum behind it was the Theophanic’s only response. The Nashtari sighed, nodded and went back into his vehicle.

As the radio waves buzzed, more extraordinary troopers began emerging from the barque. These were huge, seven or eight feet tall… merged somehow with a mechanical quadrupedal walking vehicle, resembling nothing so much as armoured robotic centaurs. These centaur-soldiers took position at the far end of the lines of Theophanic troops as civilians began filing out. These were hung with fine robes and either bore a great variety of banners and pennants or held the decorated reins of harness binding reptilian creatures the size of great oxen to large carts covered with lush fabrics.

Finally a gigantic vehicle eased its way through the massive doors in the side of the barque. It rolled on enormous foot-wide wheels and towered several stories’ worth of bulk into the sky, and shimmered with the glow of polished woods and precious metals. Dimly within, behind columns and rich hangings one might perceive the dark robed figure of Furstepiskopsos Natanael IV Dieudonne soi Hapax, Holy Regent of the Named Ambassador of the Theophanic Empire.

One can only imagine the excitement caused as this cyclopean vehicle ponderously rolled its way through the streets of Union City, with nearly a battalion of troops in advance, Nashtari armoured vehicles and police officers escorting them every step of the way. The Theophanic soldiers, well trained to a man, calmly ignored the civilians and military both, marching in an easy lock-step as the breaking clouds shattered sunlight off their golden armour and trim.

As they reached the great buildings that housed the bureaucracy of the Nashtari government, the troopers easily formed up into blocks by unit flanking the great steps. The centaur-soldiers trotted up the steps pulling a long purple rug behind them, letting it drop at the tall glass doors of the office complex and standing at stiff attention beside it. Horns blared suddenly as the massive Theophanic carriage slowly pulled up and extended a ramp to the beginning of the carpet.

First came down a gaggle of robed Theophanics-- here a cleric, there a bureaucrat, and that one a merchant, among others. Finally, the tall form of Natanael soi Hapax stood erect at the side of the carriage as with a quiet hum of powered armour, all the troops kneeled simultaneously. soi Hapax gave them no regard as he stepped briskly up the ornate rug, the various hangers-on and civilians falling in behind him.

As he arrived at the top of the steps, the doors were smoothly opened by… the Furstepiskopos didn’t even pause to notice; people who opened doors were automatically invisible to him. Ambassador Shelton, looking dapper despite the short notice he’d had to prepare for the Theophanics’ arrival, stood with a small group of other diplomatic types by the front desk of the government building. soi Hapax drew up before him, seeming to recognize him (presumably from image-captures taken aboard Dystropos) but saying nothing.

Shelton leaned forward slightly, then stopped as one of the Theophanic minions stepped forward and cleared their throat loudly. “Ahem… My lords and ladies of the Republic of Nashtar, we present to you the Most Reverend Furstepiskopos Natanael, Fourth of His Name, Dieudonne Armand Jean Duplessis Montmorency Ghare Iohannus soi Hapax, Hochfurst Ithaka, Archipiskopos of the Episkopi Ochrysomenos, Marquis de Welliver…”

This went on for some time.

By the time the herald (presumably the minion’s role) concluded with “...Keeper of the Honey-Makers of Fruktos” some of the Nashtaris were not quite openly checking their timepieces. Shelton, the muscles of his face looking rather strained but still maintaining a politely cheerful expression, waited a moment to make sure the minion was quite done and then remarked, “And I am Horace Shelton, though I have no titles to be proud of other than Ambassador of the Republic of Nashtar. These are my colleagues Rraskarr and Nog-Ornth.”

The Ronoghan and Zambari both inclined their heads, aping the human mannerism. There was a pause that grew pregnant as the two entourages looked each other over. Finally Shelton leaned forward slightly and inquired, “As lovely as it is to make your acquaintance, Furstepiskopos, I assume we are not here just to look at each other and introduce ourselves?”

A smile quirked Natanael’s lips beneath his thin mustache. For the first time he spoke, “No. Let us speak of divers things. There is much to be done.”

That, Shelton could do. He nodded, easing into his well-practiced diplomat role, and extended a hand to the side-- somehow, he suspected he would be left hanging if he attempted a handshake-- “This way, sir. If you will accompany me…?”
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Elheru Aran
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Elheru Aran »

OOC: Not intending to double post, but had a nice burst of inspiration today so here goes. Part of post contributed by Eternal_Freedom.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Southern Fringes of Orion Space

With the customary electromagnetic thunderclap of a powerful drive brute-forcing its way through nullspace, the Neokastro Omonoia emerged into realspace. It juddered and shook as one of its main engines flared and slowly died, then shipboard lights started flickering.

“Damn it,” Kapetanios Ydwar Evan soi Morr cursed, “pass the word and have Frater Hugdebert send another repair team to the breakers. Operations, are we dead in the void?”

“No, my lord… but batteries are depleted and main reactors are still being stabilized,” was the quick response. soi Morr growled and turned his seat slowly towards a gaunt figure leaning heavily upon a long cane at the side of the bridge. “My apologies, my lord. I fear we may be somewhat delayed.”

“Quite all right,” was the brisk response, “there is nothing to be done about it but take care of the matter. I shall repair to my quarters, then. Do begin broadcasting the prolegomenon on the off-chance some of these Orions are nearby.”

Ydwar soi Morr nodded grimly and gestured to the comms officer. In short order the Theophanic broadcast of introduction was radiating across the spectra…

Eímaste ta Paidiá tis Theouatokrátoras, tis Aftokráteiras, tou Theoú/Désmis pou Perpatá Anámesá mas. Sas metaféroume tin Agápi tous. Sas metaféroume ti Sofía tous. Ankaliáste Tous. Erchómaste en eiríni. Erchómaste na gnorísoume tous anthrópous tou Oríona. Evlogíes se séna.

We are the Children of the Theouautokratora, the Emperoress, the God/dess that Walks Among Us. We bring you Their Love. We bring you Their Wisdom. Embrace Them. We come in peace. We come to meet the people of Orion. Blessings be upon thee.


Ruprekht soi Varro, the Protos (first officer), leaned in over soi Morr’s command throne and whispered, “How come we’re here in the middle of nowhere, anyway? And by ourselves, at that?”

soi Morr whispered back, “Politics. The Old Man was never very popular in the Epimelitirio. He won’t play their games. Prefers to do his own thing. So they saddled him with an ambassadorship and told him to get lost in this general direction. If he achieved peaceful relations, they would take it. If not… no great loss, and the Empire is far enough from most of the other nations we’ve met so far that we don’t consider the potential threat undue.”

Sardonically, soi Varro riposted, “That’s certainly reassuring.” soi Morr could only lift his eyebrows in a grimace as they sat back and prepared to wait.


Sensor Control, Saiph System, Orion Dominion

Commander Praxis-12-10257 had been called into sensor control, first by a ping from the deep-space sensors of an unknown vessel appearing in realspace and then shortly thereafter by an incoming signal. The language had never been encountered before, but fortunately Saiph, and all other Orion worlds for that matter, had received the data dumps from the Siege Perilous and his encounter with the Endeavour fleet.

Within the data from the Endeavourites had been information about other known "human" nations, one of which had a name and a stated language that matched the incoming. Praxis was growing slightly concerned - they hadn't had a First Contact in nearly two and a half centuries (since the disastrous encounter with the Skarosians) and now they'd had two in a week. It seemed their quiet isolation was coming to an end.

Commander Praxis listened to the transmission and the translation, along with the computer's semantic analysis. Religion, he mused. It was an unknown concept in modern Orions - the Gods of Old had turned out to be treacherous so they were slaughtered at the Dominion's founding. I hope this ends better than that did, he thought. He opened a channel.

"Attention Children of the Theouautokratora, this is Commander Praxis-12-10257 of the Orion Dominion Navy, in command of the Saiph Garrison. We acknowledge you come in peace and welcome you, however you are in Orion space and I demand you hold position until one of our ships can meet you directly. You should further be aware that any attempt to leave your current location will be treated as a violation of diplomatic protocols and responded to with force. We will have a vessel dispatched to your location shortly."

Some time later

Golden light spilled across the stars in slow pulses. The figure of Lordos Count Conrad soi Vasilias, Klironomos soi Vasilias, Master of the Watches of Paradosi, Archontas Starfleet Vasilias, et al et cetera, was still spindly in a void-suit. Not a warsuit. None of the other genia understood this, though the soi Chelonis girl had seemed to get it.

Even she didn’t entirely understand his hobbies, though. He sighed peacefully and leaned back into the next row-stroke of his light-pinnace, golden solar energies slowly pulsing from the wide sweep of his oars, the seemingly flimsy craft deftly cutting through the void with each stroke. At a respectable distance floated two kleptoi craft, absurdly huge compared to the miniscule rowboat.

Even they were far smaller than the massive slab of the Neokastro Omonoia in the distance behind them. Kapetanios soi Morr slouched on his command throne, watching the blinking of the light-pinnace far ahead with an air of disgust. He grumbled in an aside to soi Varro, “You know I warned the Old Man they could show up any time, right?”

“Yes, sir,” responded the first officer dutifully. Right on cue the distant stars began rippling, vaguely ahead of where Count soi Vasilias was sculling, and alarms began sounding on the bridge. soi Morr paled and started to his feet with a shout, “Omonoia to pinnace! Danger close translation directly ahead! Beta and Delta, grab him and return to ship!”

The Orion hyperdrives were, however, far more efficient than the Theophanics’. With a powerful electromagnetic crackle of tortured space, great ships burst into existence. Invisible waves of radiation rocked the light-pinnace, and soi Vasilias jerked in surprise. A few powerful strokes of one broad foil-bladed oar, and the pinnace slowly revolved in place. Almost close enough to touch from the look of it-- really, a few hundred feet, but the size of the Orion ship made it look much closer-- loomed a great hulking mass of armour and steel.

Behind the gilded visor of his voidsuit, soi Vasilias grinned. Deftly standing up in the shaky little pinnace, he waved broadly at the Orion craft, as one could practically see the kleptoi behind him dithering between snatching him and remaining where they were. They compromised by carefully… very carefully… closing the distance between the light-pinnace and themselves.

An airlock opened on one of the kleptoi and warsuited, but not armed, anthrosasteri emerged, pulling a line to hook onto the light-pinnace. But soi Vasilias pre-empted them by gesturing broadly to what looked like a landing-bay on the side of the monstrous Orion warship, and abruptly beginning to scull his boat in that direction. The exasperated-tending-towards-slightly-panicked Kapetanios soi Morr heard a dim rustle of his lord's diminutive voidsuit radio-- "Hello, chaps! Permission to board, what?"

Slowly he sat back down on his command throne and put his face into his hands. Not for the first time, he cursed whatever twist of fate had coupled him with the Genis soi Vasilias fleet...
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Eternal_Freedom
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Eternal_Freedom »

ODS Sutekh, Flagship, 3rd Battle Squadron

IN the command centre, Fleetmaster Aratus-17-00001 stared in disbelief at the main display. The Theophanic ship was interesting from an intellectual and tactical sense but the two small craft and the tiny...boat? was just bizarre. and now it was turning towards the portside landing bay.

"What in the name of the Primus is that thing? Is it...sailing? In vacuum?"

The Chief of Staff could only shrug. "I have no idea Fleetmaster, I can only assume it is some sort of solar-sail vessel used for personal entertainment."

Aratus looked at the younger officer askance - he agreed on the analysis but wanted to hear the other's reasoning.

"Explain."

The Chief of Staff nodded. "It is a vessel with no practical military value, carries neither armour nor shielding that we can detect and is far too small to carry anything more than an antimatter suicide charge with no delivery mechanism other than a collision. We have detected no such suicide charge, and this Theophanic Empire would be utterly insane to attempt such a thing - we have a full Battle Squadron, they have but one - light - ship. Therefore my assumption that it is a personal pleasure craft, most probably belonging to the senior officer present."

Aratus nodded in agreement. He opened his mouth to say something further when another officer announced the - bizarre request to come aboard.

The Fleetmaster could only sigh. "Grant them - and those two small craft flanking them - permission to land in the portside bay. Instruct the Interlocutor to meet me there and have the standard security precautions put in place. The Squadron will stand down to alert status three and Senior Captain Arado-72-05629 aboard Nemesis shall have command in my absence."

That last part was a personal innovation of his - whenever he was off-duty or otherwise absent from the command centre, he rotated the Squadron command through the battlecruiser and escort flotilla commanders to give them full command experience.

The Fleetmaster waited only long enough to see his orders acknowledged before turning for the hatchway in the aft bulkhead. Now he had to play nice with a new, religious and (if their senior officer was any indicator) insane species. Worse still, the portside landing bay was twenty decks down and a kilometre and a half aft of the command centre and he was already tired.
Baltar: "I don't want to miss a moment of the last Battlestar's destruction!"
Centurion: "Sir, I really think you should look at the other Battlestar."
Baltar: "What are you babbling about other...it's impossible!"
Centurion: "No. It is a Battlestar."

Corrax Entry 7:17: So you walk eternally through the shadow realms, standing against evil where all others falter. May your thirst for retribution never quench, may the blood on your sword never dry, and may we never need you again.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Rogue 9 »

Helios System, Nashtar
Howson Building, Union City
Nashtari State Department HQ


Minister Roshin-Pan deactivated the comms unit on her desk and called out to her secretary as she pulled the data stick she’d put the Endeavour data packet on from its terminal. “Margaret, can you please call a courier? The Endeavour ambassador gave me a data packet that I want sent to Intelligence for analysis.” Of course, she could transmit the information, but security protocol was security protocol, even though with what she knew of Endeavour, everything they’d given her was almost certainly public on their Internet.

This only took a few minutes. The data stick was dropped into a secure courier bag and Minister Roshin-Pan hustled from her offices behind the courier, moving to the reception chamber to greet the Theophanic delegation.
_______________

The department courier duly walked the most direct route from the Minister’s office to the department’s diplomatic intelligence bureau, and turned over the sealed bag. Conveyed to the appropriate analyst’s office, codes to open it were input along with a retinal scan and the bag’s clasps popped open. The data-stick inside was Nashtari standard with an encryption key, as expected, and a couple of access codes later, Senior Analyst Mendez was starting on the data it contained. His terse brief only told him that it was from the desk of the Minister, the source was direct turnover from Endeavour’s embassy, and it concerned a first contact file from Endeavour that they had thought was of urgent importance. First contact was no mean thing, to be sure, but even so, Mendez’s eyes widened as he got further down the report.

Clone reproduction. Probably stronger than even a fit Zambaran. And oh yeah, semi-regular total genocides… that they claim were provoked and justified, but really? Their founding he could understand, but it seemed that the habit had set in and they had wiped out every species they’d come in contact with up until now. And then, several minutes into skimming over the information (there would be a more thorough reading later) he got to the Endeavour analysis of their ships.

Mendez whistled. “Well, when all you have is a hammer,” he said softly into the otherwise empty office, letting the thought trail off. This needed to get into the hands of the Navy brass, among others. He picked up the communicator and buzzed his superior, but he was sure that chain of command would make the same call.

”Trip” Davis Memorial Building, Union City
Nashtar Space Command Headquarters
Several Hours Later


“This is insane,” breathed Admiral Blessinger as he put down the datapad. “Warships of that magnitude, and they just up and tell you they’ve used their main batteries to… ‘cleanse’ planets? How do they expect people they meet to react?”

“Their physiology means that they do not much care about the state of the biosphere when they are done, Admiral,” noted Vice Admiral Hrothlar. “They would be quite comfortable in conditions that might give an Ernari trouble.”

Rear Admiral Trrastirr nodded agreement with his Ronoghan colleague. “They arrrn’t totally clear on what prrrovokes that rrreaction, Admiral,” the Zambaran staff officer noted before catching the growl starting to creep into his words. “I’m sorry. Anyhow, it seems hazardous to be their neighbors. For all we can tell it’s one incident and you get a railgun shell to the capital. Then again, it might not be; all of these civilizations really could have… looked at the, forgive the expression, fuckoff huge dreadnoughts and decided they wanted to have a go.” The rippling of Trrastirr’s fur said fairly clearly what he thought of that option.

“Well fortunately we’re not their close neighbors,” responded the Fleet Admiral grimly. “I’ll brief the President. Captain Freeman,” he called out to the staff officer in the outer office, “Fleetwide orders. All vessels are to avoid the proximity of Orion space and Orion vessels until further notice. Make sure that’s included in the data packets for the deep patrols next time they check in.”

“Yes, Admiral,” the captain answered, dutifully keying in the orders for distribution.

N-374 System - Nashtari astronomical designation for former Amazo-X System
NRS Pitch


“Conn, Sensors. It is hard to tell at this distance without an active scan, but from visual profiles it looks like a substantial minority of the ships around the planet are Endeavourite. The remainder are of unknown design, and a few of them are extremely large, sir.”

Captain Carlton frowned. “And it looks like a starship crashed into the planet?”

“Aye,” answered the sensor officer, “but not that recently. Visual estimates of the crater when it passes the orbital period put it at least several months old. It was large, sir, and the impact would have been more than enough to devastate the biosphere, as we can see.”

“Acknowledged, Sensors. Any sign of detection?”

“Not so far, Conn, but I cannot rule it out.”

“Very well, Sensors. Keep me informed.” He turned toward the other side of the bridge. “Ops, Conn. Prepare to drop probes. We don’t need to hang around here indefinitely.”

“Conn, Ops, aye.”
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Elheru Aran »

Orion Warship
Portside Landing Bay


Conrad soi Vasilias deftly jumped from the gold-foil pinnace through the atmospheric containment field of the Orion landing bay, landing nimbly on his feet in the sudden artificial gravity before turning to grab a fine, thin rope connecting him to the boat. Easily he pulled it within the gravity field; the whole assembly was almost light as air, almost hovering for a moment before slowly settling to the deck. The void-suited soi Vasilias put his hands on his hips with an air of approval, then turned and strode to the nearest Orion, a hulking deck-hand, and handed him the rope.

“If you’ll watch my craft, young sir, there’s an Imperial in it for you!” the Count cheerfully asserted to the alien, who could only stare blankly at him and then down at the rope in its hands. But Conrad was already on the move, striding back to the pinnace as the two Theophanic kleptoi that had escorted him slowly slid into place further down the landing bay and extended their landing skids to settle upon the deck.

A slim cane was duly retrieved from the pinnace, and soi Vasilias made his way into one of the kleptoi-craft. There was a brief exchange at the airlock with an officer, and when the first troopers came out to guard the craft, the Orions noticed (though they didn't register the human body language) disgruntled expressions... undoubtedly prompted by the distinct lack of weapons in their warsuited hands. Nervertheless, they crossed their arms or otherwise attempted to look intimidating... an effect lost on the alien warriors beginning to file into the landing bay.

When he emerged, changed out of his voidsuit into a trim grey suit with subtle silver pinstripes, a slim umbrella in one hand and a thin briefcase that probably cost as much as the kleptoi, a fine black bowler hat on top of the whole ensemble, there was a small congregation of burly Orions filling the landing bay. soi Vasilias paused at the top of the kleptoi boarding-steps and tweaked his tie, then made his way down and calmly walked through the Theophanic troopers surrounding the kleptoi.

There was a small tap as he placed the point of his umbrella on the deck and leaned upon it. All the Orions’ eyes were on him as he cleared his throat and waved a grey-gloved hand, inquiring loudly, “Hullo all! I say, could you lot kindly direct me to whomever’s in charge?”

ODS Sutekh Portside Landing Bay

Fleetmaster Aratus-17-00001 strode into the landing bay with long, purposeful strides. He was still tired but nearly two centuries of service allowed him to hide this from the crew - it would not do for command-grade officers to appear to be anything other than alert and ready. To his left and half a step behind him walked Interlocutor Xytan-9-12345, the assigned diplomat for this encounter, his face carefully composed in what (to an Orion at least) was a calm and neutral expression. On either side, two steps back, marched a squad of Marines in full body armour - though in deference to the diplomatic nature of the meeting they carried only a pair of MAR's each, having eschewed the single-shot missile tubes and the pair of MAC's and R-MAR's that each twenty-man squad would normally carry.

The sight that greeted them was somewhat bizarre. The small, strange vehicle was there, apparently powered down and with a...rope being held by a clearly baffled deckhand. Two other craft were landed nearby, one with a embarkation ramp extended. Clustered at the top of that ramp were a group of small, bipedal beings in strange clothing, one of them even strange than the rest. Fleetmaster Aratus recognised them as humans from the data-dumps received from his colleague on Siege Perilous, but although he had studied the physiological data he had not expected them to be so...small.

As per his orders, a further contingent of Marines were carefully surrounding the edges of the landing bay, and these ones carried full loads of armaments, though they were studiously not aiming them anywhere near the three alien craft. The Senior Squad Leader of his Honour Guard called out, his voice echoing across the bay:

"Attention on Deck!"

Every Orion present snapped to attention, even the poor deckhand holding that rope attached to the strange craft. He looked quite relieved to be rid of the job. Aratus looked around approvingly even as he continued his march across the open space. He pondered his next action carefully but decided it was necessary.

"Deck crews, you are dismissed. Report to the portside crew lounge and await debriefing. You are not to speak to anyone else until cleared to do so. Squad Leader Limnos, your men will accompany them and keep them segregated until further orders. Understood?"

The Squad Leader in question nodded. "Aye, Fleetmaster, understood. To the portside crew lounge men, at the double."

With everyone else bar the Marines rapidly leaving, he finally reached his destination. He came to a halt five metres from the bottom of the ramp, the two escort squads fanning out either side. He was about to speak when the strangest-dressed human, complete with some sort of case, a hat and a strange fabric-coated cane brazenly marched down the steps, onto his deck, tapped the cane and asked who was in charge.

Aratus heard several of his guard stiffen at the lack of courtesy, but beyond that they didn't react. Interlocutor Xytan mentally sighed, knowing that the diplomatic efforts would likely be more difficult than he had feared. Aratus, meanwhile, glared down at the apparently carefree human, who was barely two-thirds the height of any of the Orion's present.

"In my culture it is both customary and polite to ask permission before stepping aboard a ship. As for who is in charge, that would be me. Fleetmaster Aratus-17-00001, Commanding Officer of the 3rd Battle Squadron, Orion Dominion Navy. This" he gestured to Xytan "is Interlocutor Xytan-9-12345 of the Diplomatic Service, representing the Command Council and the Primus. Who might you be? I am assuming you are in charge, given your non-standard clothing and that...vehicle you arrived in."

Conrad smiled disarmingly and then, jerking one foot about in a high arc, sliding the other forward, perambulated painstakingly towards the massive alien who just spoke. Once he was within arms’ reach, he paused, leaned upon his umbrella and tipped his bowler with a slight bow at the waist. “A very great pleasure to make your acquaintance, Fleetmaster. Apologies for the apparent discourtesy, though I did request permission before landing my pinnace. I gathered ‘twas general, but apparently not. My bad, as the children say. Shall we repair to more congenial accommodations, or shall I have my gentlemen bring us some seats?”

The (comparatively) gigantic Fleetmaster stared at the human. Then at the Interlocutor, who could just give him a blank stare in return. The human continued cheerfully, “As to myself, I have the honour to be Jehu Conrad Ewart Sigurd Hoden Yeof soi Vasilias, recently appointed Ambassador of the Theophanic Empire unto the Orion Dominion.”

He paused for a moment and looked thoughtful, then went on, “I will say, Theophanic custom normally requires a full read-out of titles at this point, but I rather think we shall dispense with that. Half of them are nonsense anyway, as is most of the protocol book for that matter. Suffice it to say that my purpose is to meet you and represent my Empire to a nicety. So, here I am!”

Out the corner of his eye he noticed something, and he looked at his light-pinnace, sitting on the deck. “Oh, my. Well, I suppose it’s not going to catch stray solar breezes in here. I’ll just have my crew tidy that up, shall I.”

A casual wave of his hand and a couple of anthrosasteri started sidling cautiously to the light-pinnace until they could pick up all two pounds’ worth of the gold-foil-and-carbon-fibre assembly. He commented in the pregnant silence, “I say. There was one of your sailors holding the rope. Be a dear and do give them this, shall you?”

He rummaged in a pocket and then flipped a broad gold piece to the Interlocutor, who reflexively snatched it out of the air. The Interlocutor looked at it, and then back to the Fleetmaster, who was staring at him, and both then turned to Conrad, who returned their look with a wry smile. “So, gentle… beings. I’m happy to talk here or anywhere you’d like, but shall we be to it?”
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