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 Post subject: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-16 07:38am
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Joined: 2006-11-20 07:52am
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Location: Scotland
This is the excised segment of what would have been option 3 from my main plot; it is rather far off the wall, and while it was fun to write, just as well it's a dead end. I'd hate to have to rationalise this and take it seriously.




The Palpatinist side of the wormhole; Imperial Starfleet research station Bifrost deep in the Rishi Maze, home port Deep Field Recon Group

‘So, how do you rate the base commander?’ Commodore, First Strike Element, asked his long- time right hand man. ‘Specifically on his technical skills.’
‘What, you mean I actually have to be polite about him?’ the heavyweight engineer said. ‘I’m not sure anyone other than him could work that cosmic needle and thread- but he has no judgement at all in what they do with it. Basically, you’re asking if we can afford to do without him?’

‘Unfortunately, yes, I am asking exactly that.’ Lennart admitted. ‘Why did he have to be such a kriffing idiot? A blunder like that- like allowing something to come through the wormhole from the other end- puts everything at jeopardy. More importantly, if he’s daft enough to let something like that happen, then he isn’t trustworthy.
If we can’t work with him, we have to replace him- so is he indispensable?’

Mirannon thought about it, and actually not about the technology- trying to come up with a sensible tactical recommendation. ‘On the absolute scale, no- in the near term, if we’re going to do anything about that incursion, yes.
Most of their funding comes from DMR- militarise the facility outright. Keep Doctor Dischel as technical director, slot in an operational director over him with instructions to consider the military aspect and with full powers of control- I’d say Beliksjaden, second watch hyperdrive control, he knows his business. Should do as an interim fix.’

‘I’m not certain we do want to. I’m still trying to understand this, get some understanding of the physics beyond the ‘magic door in space’ level.’ Lennart admitted, uneasily. As if the Force wasn’t enough to put up with- already long running, the battle to hold on to a recognisable sense of self promised to be never ending.
‘For instance- for future operations, assuming there are going to be any, is the diameter of the wormhole variable? Is the term ‘diameter’ actually meaningful?

I know just enough of the physics to have an idea of how much there is to know,’ Lennart admitted, ‘and not really enough to start planning transdimensional tactics. Who came up with this lunatic idea, anyway?’
‘Originally separatist.’ Mirannon said. ‘Far as what I’ve had translated and declassified goes, they were trying to come up with the ultimate weapon- and not for the first time. It was supposed to be a symmetry breaker.’ Mirannon said, in tones somewhere between awe and horror.
‘Ow.’ Lennart marvelled. ‘Well, the universe is still here, so I presume somebody realised how suicidally stupid that was.’

‘Um…no, I think they just couldn’t make it work. It was Imperial research that turned it into a transport device. At least, initially- what other potential there is in it, they’re still working out. It’s brilliant. Dangerously insane as well, but also brilliant.’ Mirannon, who was in that category too a lot of the time, admitted.
‘And yes, the more I think about the thing, the more I worry about the staff- to think about everything so thoroughly except the difference it makes is the mark of a deep but narrow mind. Institutionally. Most of them are individually more sensible than that, but whatever they think and speculate, it isn’t official policy.’

‘So, another shoal of potential man- in the broadest sense of the term- management problems.’ Lennart said, referring to the numerous nonhumans on the project staff. ‘To say nothing of the things at the other end of the wormhole that decided to come and say hello. The process is repeatable, isn’t it? You can drill a trans- dimensional bypass to the same place twice, yes? So why the kriff did they leave it open?’
‘Part of that narrow perspective.’ Mirannon said. ‘They deploy a probe, leave the hole open for telemetry purposes. A detectable probe that anyone on the other end is likely to be interested in.’

‘A complicated, advanced and ridiculously expensive probe that, on the bright side, should be nearly impossible to reverse engineer- but which serves as a beacon to any intelligence worth contacting that hello, something weird is happening here.’ Lennart grumbled.
‘As a result of that, they- whoever they are, and I’m still waiting for the full information on that as well, came to us rather than the other way around.
They have a much larger sample to work with, they can come to much firmer conclusions about our nature and extent, government and politics, military potential than we can about them.

So, how well does physics serve tactics? If we collapse the wormhole, does it stay gone- is there any danger at all that they could rethread it from the other end, or even find us if we actually do so?’
‘No.’ Mirannon said. ‘Safely handling the exotic energy in the wormhole is a bastard of a job by all accounts, and the thing could fairly easily be induced to go boom- more practical and less cosmic than a symmetry weapon, just as well they never thought of that- but when it’s gone, it’s gone.

The short version is that there is no real difference between unpacking, rethreading and pointing a lapsed wormhole and doing it from scratch themselves anyway. That and it’s bloody expensive.’
‘For the price of a new universe?’ Lennart wondered.
‘I though we still had a few sextillion barren rocks of our own to work through before going that far.’ Mirannon pointed out.

‘We do. We’re really looking for civilisations, people- entities- worth dealing with; although if we can wormhole to differently shaped universes with different laws of physics, then the possibilities become much weirder.
That and I have to admit I’m not overwhelmingly happy about being the Invaders from Beyond. Still less am I happy about the beyond deciding to come and visit us first- especially not some random, quasi- official, diplomatic-trader-raider-part time mercenary outfit full of scruffy lunatics.
I mean, what are they trying to do, steal our act?’ Lennart deadpanned.

‘Hmph.’ Mirannon grunted with amusement. ‘No immediate pursuit?’
‘We’re going to have to chase them, but not blindly. There is clearly a civilisation over there- active and star travelling, if not entirely level headed, exactly the sort of possibility we’re supposed to investigate.’

‘So, first we plan and predict as far as possible, make some kind of plan, then go for it?’ Mirannon speculated.
‘Yes. I’m going to need you to look through the probe’s data, see what unpleasant surprises are waiting for us in the realm of physics, while I try and do the same for the tactical and the actual contact, and plan what I hope is going to be a reconnaissance in force. If we’re unlucky, it’ll be a spoiling attack. Really unlucky, and it’ll be a counterattack.’




From the journals of Commissar Ciaphas Cain, Hero of the Imperium, etc, etc;

I don’t know why I’m bothering to record this, except that it made virtually no sense at the time. Which was nothing unusual, in my long and inglorious career, in fact it’s the times when it does make sense that are usually the worst, but it continues to fail to make sense to this day and I don’t know who I can turn to to help me figure it out. I can’t imagine who would be allowed to read it; a damned short list, probably.
The whole mess started about a year and a half after the Periremunda campaign, the 597th were in the middle of a moderately horrible job putting down a revolt on Eligabab, when we were pulled out of the line.

Now, this was a welcome turn of events for all of half a second. Eligabab is, above all else, damp. If you ask me, the natives revolted out of sheer boredom, and possibly a desire for increased towel imports. Most of what isn’t open sea is half water anyway, most of the locals live on houseboats, and between swinging from rain-forest trees, squelching through swamps and trying to learn how to sail, the regiment was thoroughly fed up.
Something to do with a Dark Age terraforming project gone wrong, apparently; supposed to make water, Throne alone knows how, the thing had apparently got stuck and kept doing it long after it was meant to stop.

Well, the planet could drown for all I cared; the sick list was long and getting longer, and only the fact that there was nowhere to get into trouble kept the defaulters’ list from doing the same.
Most of our fighting was done against the conditions; we were winning the actual war, largely because the rebels were in the same state we were and just as browned off about it. If they had any sense, they would have given up and gone home- and if the governor had any sense, he would have let them. Which was officially impossible, no clemency for traitors and all that.

Being pulled out in mid campaign was a relief from one point of view. The rebels could continue delaying tactics as long as they liked, run whoever ended up doing the job ragged, keep them out until their guns fused to rust and their feet degenerated to lumps of solid mould; we didn’t have to care now.
I was wading up above the knees in fetid mud at the time, and starting to understand what it must be like to live in Jurgen’s world, when the retrieval shuttle came and airlifted me and the platoon I was accompanying out of the swamp.

Half a second was all it took for my palms to start itching, and the thought to come to me that being withdrawn in mid- squelch meant that they needed us more badly somewhere else, and that could possibly be worse- although at the time I didn’t understand how. Just as well, because I can picture worse places to spend a life hiding under a rock, but around here I would have been hard put to it to find one.
Command had little idea either; Kasteen was just as badly in the dark, only knew that we had been requested by name, ordered to return to our concentration area- assuming it hadn’t slid away on a tide of mud- and await pickup.

Most of our vehicles had been left behind, their being precious few places in the operational area they could do anything other than sink; in theory, the Chimeras floated, but in practise they tend to stop doing that when punctured, overloaded or when the water was cutting up chop. Or when the hull front bolter moved, or the troops had to get out and fight.
I suppose you could call that a drawback for an APC. The Salamanders were more reliable, and I had used mine at first, until the unit I was accompanying on a rear area sweep found trouble, and tried to deploy. Chimeras sink frighteningly quickly, when the rear hatches are open.

The lagoon bed was fairly shallow, and I’m a pretty good swimmer; most of the troopers made it out, but we had to go down and rescue a few of the drivers and vehicle commanders. Not that there weren’t advantages; good for the reputation, and it was safer underwater swimming down into a sunken Chimera than getting shot at on the surface- well, apart from the flesh- eating eels.
We got almost everyone up- and as a bonus the rebels were too busy laughing to pay proper attention and we were able to take them fairly easily- but the Salamander ended up with forty troopers piled on top or being towed on lashed-up rafts. Not doing that again, I thought, picking eel’s teeth out of my longcoat. If only I’d known.

We were one of the last units in, and Broklaw and Kasteen were waiting there on the floating concrete raft that they called a starport. They looked at me, dripping with mud; I looked at them, clean and official in their dress uniforms, and all three of us broke out laughing.
Interrupted by a shout from the headquarters chimera, ‘Air target incoming!’
Most of the assembled vehicles barely had time to activate, never mind raise multilasers and point on, when there was a huge noise, a sonic boom that left most of us on the ground and wondering what was going on.

I had dived on top of the Colonel; with some regret, I bounced back to my feet and saw something in the sky that seemed to be on fire, no, burning retros at a furious rate, and curving up and around as if coming in for another pass.
‘It didn’t do any damage.’ She said, surveying the parked vehicles of the regiment.
‘We’d be in a lot worse trouble if it wanted to.’ I said, identifying the long beaked shape, with considerable surprise- and mounting horror. ‘It’s a Thunderhawk.’

‘Hold your fire.’ She voxed to the regiment, wisely, and the Astartes gunship-transport looped round, under ferocious strain, almost crashing to a halt and hover in mid-air over the starport field.
For a moment I wondered what they were going to do, then one man- one superman- jumped out, from forty feet up. As acrobatic as you like, he rolled as he hit ground, spinning forward out of it and came up standing, leaving the concrete splintered to a depth of two feet where he had touched down.

He walked across to us with giant bouncing strides, as Kasteen and Broklaw simply stood there in awe and I tried to place him; Mark Six armour with the same pointed helmet as the Reclaimers wore, slightly modified with a false plate to sheath the power cables, different chapter and heraldry of course, but he seemed to be a sargeant, and the armour was painted entirely in small blotches of different shades of green. He almost slid into the horizon beyond him, even at this distance.
The chapter emblem seemed to be a lion rampant, and there were little dots and markers and codifier bars over the shoulderpad that I couldn’t identify. Heavy weapons, at least.

He got up to us, and took off his helmet; fair haired, ruthless blue eyes, Kasteen almost swooned. The voice was incongruous, coming from that huge- chested giant I expected a deep bass rumble, but it was a soft, almost melancholy tone.
‘Commissar, Colonel, Major. I’m Sargeant-Commander Lachlan, XIV company, Emperor’s 346th, Lions of Caledon. Ay, I think we can take four at a time. Hundred and twenty minutes. If you can line your Chimeras up in close column of twos, you’re looking at me as if I just fell off the moon, have you no’ been fully briefed?’

Kasteen was still boggling at the nine foot tall, five foot wide Astartes; clearly it was down to me. ‘Considering we weren’t expecting you at all, I think the answer’s no.’
There was another crash of air from overhead, the marine didn’t turn a hair. ‘Ay, that’ll be Jamie, he never was too sure at the high speed reentry. Your regiment’s presence was urgently requested, and my Sgiamh’s the fastest ship on station, so we’re giving you a hurl out to the Quaestio Abstrusa where ye’ll link up with your own proper transport.’

‘Through the Warp, four at a time, slung under a Thunderhawk?’ Broklaw said, not believing.
‘Don’t be daft, Major, that wouldn’t work at all- and best not even to suggest such things in case fate happens to be listening.’ The marine said, and I started to warm to him at once.
‘I have a Glaive- class frigate in orbit, four to a Thunderhawk and eight to a lift, two hours, no more. I suggest,’ he said outwardly diffidently but with more than a century of experience backing up his words, ‘one of the command team sort things out here, one come up on the first lift to get your people safely bedded in.’

‘What happens once we get to this Puzzle?’ I said, translating from the High Gothic.
‘A lot of us want to know that, I only have about half the story mysel’. If you’d care to ride up in the first lift, Commissar, I’ll explain to ye what we do know.’
I looked at the hovering Thunderhawk, and asked the stupid question. ‘So how do I get up there?’
‘Well, I could pick ye up and throw you through the hatch-‘ he paused to enjoy the look of stunned horror on all our faces- ‘but I don’t think it would be quite consistent with the dignity of your office. Ride in the lead Chimera, I’ll datalink to you.’

That was a slight improvement, although I had to wonder what perverse imp had pushed him to that idea in the first place. Jurgen and I climbed into the first chimera on the pad- fifth company, third platoon; I nodded to the team commander. ‘Sargeant Lydd.’
He looked pleased to be recognised; I remembered him chiefly for a near- riot on Periremunda, he had been accused of cheating at dice. Actually, he had cleaned them out so thoroughly he nearly ended up owning the bar. A natural choice for promotion in the next round of advancements, and I didn’t hold that fact that he refused to tell me how it was done against him at all. Well, not much anyway.

‘Commissar.’ He wasn’t all that pleased to see Jurgen, though, but carried on; ‘What are we doing?’
There was a clang from the outside of the vehicle like an ork cannon shot; Lachlan, using the vehicle as a springboard to vault up to the hovering Thunderhawk. Twenty foot standing jump straight up, or I’m a Tallarn. I used the turret viewfinder; a metal thing came across the field of vision, there was a loud set of clangs and bangs, the docking clamp locking on to the Chimera.
‘Ready to lift.’ The Marine’s voice came down- some kind of conduction speaker through the hull, bounced us about pretty badly.

‘Can you turn the volume down a bit?’ I shouted.
‘Oh, aye, I forgot about the resonance. Fascinatin’ actually, remind me to play with that a bit later, the system was designed for Land Raiders. Is that better for ordinary human ears?’ He didn’t seem all that bothered about an ordinary human, even what was to all appearances a subordinary one like Jurgen- whose very real virtues were usually very well hidden- being around him. I began to wonder if he was a typical example of his Chapter. And hope he wasn’t, truth be told.

The Thunderhawk took off, rocketing straight upwards; a much wilder ride than any dropship I’d been in, unsurprising considering the Astartes used them as heavy fighters as well as transport. Jurgen was drastically unhappy, as bad going up as he usually was coming down, and the troopers of the squad were shying away from him. The sound of air around us was starting to fade, and I was starting to worry; if they were only nominally watertight, how airtight were the Chimeras really liable to be?
‘Ay, we have the boarding rig. Takes a little power, take a little longer going up and down, you don’t need to worry about the holes.’ I wish I could feel as confident as he sounded right then, but I had to show faith.

‘You said you have a ship in orbit, from the fourteenth company?’
‘We have the codex standard rifle strength of a thousand battle brothers, but we are a heavy formation. So many Razorbacks and Helios variants carrying half squads, we have several more companies than normal to take up the full rifle strength, you understand. I think that has something to do wi’ this little operation.’ Lachlan said.
‘How so?’ I said, trying to sound confident and determined. The squad were lost somewhere between awe and terror, and come to think of it so was I.

‘All the Astartes are privileged to defend humanity by fighting the alien, but we may be the zonal if not the segmentum champions at the gentle art of stealin’ their technology, purging it, sanctifying it in the name of the Emperor and turning it against it’s former owners. I understand your regiment has a fine history at the alien fighting, too.’
My blood ran cold at that. I’d faced and beaten many varieties of the enemies of the emperor, all the while cowering and screaming like a little girl inside but they didn’t need to know that, but I could tell there was more to it than that. ‘What kind of xenos?’

‘Now that is the interesting question. Given the speed, the secrecy, and the confusion of all of this, I would say that something new has appeared that no-one understands yet.
There is a smaal force assembling at the Quaestio Abstrusa station, all of them units of high reputation. I would say that we are looking to some kind of reconnaissance in force, a probe into the home space of the xenos, wherever that should be.’
Well, that was my brain on holiday for the duration. ‘Then this should be interesting.’ I managed to say. Landing on the Astartes frigate and getting the regiment stowed was a blur, I must have done it all properly but I’m damned if I can remember how.

Inside, the ship- Sgiamh, whatever that meant- was an interesting composite of the elaborately ornate and the brutally austere. Clearly old enough to have undergone numerous changes and revisions, and of a class I didn’t recognise anyway although with the marines having their own ideas about how to run a spacefleet that was no surprise.
The crew were an odd lot; almost silent, they did their jobs with no more than an eyebrow-raise, a twitch, a glance- nonverbal communication. They were of every height from five foot up to almost the same stature as a Marine- I could have sworn some of them were but for the carapace.

‘Ay, chapter serfs.’ I heard Lachlan say, from behind me; he had come up with the next lot of Chimera. ‘What most people never quite understand about the Astartes is that to make a man a Marine, we have tae’ start while he’s still a growing lad. How do you tell how a nine or ten year old boy’s going to turn out? There was probably a time when even you could have gone the other way and turned into a wee, sleekit, cowerin’ timid mouse of a man.’
Now, I do not take kindly to jokes like that- that and I wasn’t certain that he was joking. My eyeline was about level with the bottom of his ribcage, that didn’t mean I could let him get away with it, Astartes or not.

‘Ay,’ he said before I could decide if I was going to swing for him, and if so where, ‘the Reclaimers said that when it came to knowing fear, you had the galaxy beat- but you still went in with them. That counts for somewhat. You and your wee aide.’
I noticed my nostrils were unusually clear, and looked round for Jurgen- no sign, nor of any Valhallan in this side corridor off the bay. Obviously, Lachlan had steered me aside to have this little word. ‘Your reputation’s safe enough with us.’
‘Now if you could promise the same about my skin, that would cheer me up no end.’ I said, trying to sound as if I was joking.

‘I doubt that- but a passin’ thought that might appeal to you. What sort of distinction could a nine or ten year old wean hope to achieve that might catch the eye of the Astartes as a potential recruit?’
I couldn’t imagine- piety? Scholastic merit? I didn’t know, and said so.
‘We would hae’ something a little more warlike to build on. Think you, that for the first approximation we are working through the clouded mirror of the Administratum. The easiest way for us to guddle out potential warriors of His Majesty is to look for the biggest troublemakers.’

I gave a choked snort of laughter, starting to see what Lachlan was getting at.
‘Ay, the worst nyaffs, toerags and scum auld Caledon has to offer…the tricks Ah used to play in the back streets around Auchterastra spaceport wouldna’ bear repeating.
The company did add it a’ up once and if we had been properly caught and sentenced for our crimes pre- induction, we would be due 4,815 years penal servitude between us. There was some thought of goin’ back and committing a few more just to bring it up to a nice round number but we decided it wouldna’ be seemly.’

Lachlan said it all so deadpan, it came out perfectly, and I doubled over laughing trying to imagine a Terminator squad on a petty crime spree, breaking windows, littering and spraying graffiti.
‘Ay, some chapters are a lot more stiffnecked about it than others, and I dare say Caledon’s an exception, being half forge and half feral world a’ in one, but I’d be surprised if the bulk of His Majesty’s work was done by honest men…which goes a long way to explain the Administratum, now I come to think of it.’

That was it, I couldn’t stop myself laughing. By the time I managed to pull myself back together the big Marine was gone to look after his ship and Jurgen, the one counterexample that came to mind, was standing there. ‘Commissar? Are you alright?’
‘Maybe.’ I managed to say. Even if the Sargeant-Commander could see further past my reputation than most- as he said himself later “We train to be crazy, no’ stupid”- he seemed to be more admiring of the fact that it was a fraud than anything else.

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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-16 09:04am
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Joined: 2006-11-20 07:52am
Posts: 2237
Location: Scotland
Ch 2;

The Palpatinist side of the wormhole;

‘I’m going to need authorisation for this.’ Mirannon dropped the datapad on Lennart’s desk.
There were any number of comments along the lines of ‘you don’t usually bother asking’ that Lennart could have said, and they were all true- which meant that this was important, and likely to cause trouble.
Lennart read it. It was a request for universal energy cages. Two hundred and fifty thousand of them.
No point saying any of the obvious stuff, either- such as if he was completely mad. That was almost certainly more than actually existed, and anything to do with the Force on that scale would be a massive red flag, raising attention they didn’t want.

‘You picked up on that wrinkle too, then.’ Lennart said, more calmly than he felt.
‘Their absurdly low FTL speed made it a giveaway, they couldn’t possibly be using normal hyperdrive. Desperately interested in and terrified of the force, random spasms of absurd behaviour, testimony from some of the clone war veterans who observed the incident. My best estimate is that the nonlocal force- what we know as ‘the Force’- on that side of the wormhole is from one to two orders of magnitude more powerful.’ The hulking engineer said, looking worried.

‘That is a wild ass guess, isn’t it?’ Lennart asked.
‘Sore head guess. Maybe I should indent for a couple of tons of analgesic too, for you me and the other antennae- twitchers around here; if there’s that much energy behind it-‘
‘Most of the incomers seemed to be normal- well, crazy but not for that reason.’ Lennart understated. ‘So I think we won’t be facing an army and fleet full of pseudo-Jedi. Or pseudoSith, for that matter. There’ll definitely be a strategic factor. Prediction, preparation, comms. Are those energy cages likely to keep them from noticing us?’

‘It’s worse than that.’ Mirannon said. ‘With that much energy to play with they may be able to do real psychodynamic engineering; an army of sith alchemists may not be that far off the mark. The possibilities are genuinely fascinating, I wish I could read a report written by someone else on the subject.’
‘As opposed to having to go there and find out for ourselves? What, have you got no pioneering spirit?’ Lennart said, joking.
‘Not once it’s been disembodied.’ Mirannon glowered. ‘I know we’re not getting everything, and there are almost certainly some damned unpleasant surprises waiting for us.’

‘Well, unless they sent their very worst, whoever ‘they’ are, then I don’t think it’s going to come from their battlefleet.’ Lennart said, bringing up the image of what was probably a ship.
‘Is that a ship, or a temple district someone dug up and shoved an engine under?’ Mirannon boggled slightly. ‘It’s ridiculous- I can’t imagine, ah.’
‘Psychodynamic engineering?’ Lennart asked. ‘You think there’s an actual reason why it looks that way?’

‘I hope not.’ Mirannon said. ‘We’ve done enough playing around with the hull, I don’t want to even contemplate the problems of adding minarets and making them structurally sound- but it’s possible. If there is a real requirement, that we’re nowhere near being able to comply with, then there will inevitably be a problem.’
‘Well, we’re likely to be fighting the conditions rather than the enemy. Who would you send out beyond the frontier to confront unknown danger, the elite or the expendable, the cream or the dregs of the sewer?’

‘Considering that we’re out here, I’d reckon the elite.’ Mirannon said. ‘Is that a good thing or a bad?’
‘I reckon we got invaded by the equivalent of frontier prospectors. Wildcats, part of but hardly answerable to their own authorities, using a decommissioned warship- many guns, metres thick main hull, if that thing wasn’t a warcraft we really are in trouble.
Assuming the physiology isn’t misleading us- and they are a striking example of convergent evolution- assuming we’re not being fooled by that into thinking their psychology is more like ours than it really is, we can draw conclusions from their behaviour.

Which are interesting. The planetary garrison commander seems to have had the brains to nod and smile and play along, and get as much information out of them as possible, before instructions from the sector governor blew the situation apart.
Language difficulties, but most of them are at least trilingual, we know that from the blather they tried out on us- two socio-economic languages, upper and lower class, and the local language of each of them.’
‘Galactic Standard, Galactic Basic, local planetary dialect.’ Mirannon pointed out.

‘Yes, there is a symmetry there, isn’t there- medium to large polity at least. And authoritarian. Their lower orders behaved like men released from discipline, until the upper echelons reined them in. Brutally.
That and deep superstition from many of them- assuming there really isn’t a reason. We’ve speculated about the effect of the Force on the basis of democracy-d’you suppose that’s what we’re looking at here, the nonlocal force being so much more powerful? Some variation on the Tyranny of the Empowered?’ Lennart was speculating, and knew it.

‘No clue, but I can tell you about their material values.’ Mirannon pointed out. ‘They kept trying to do business, and badly- traders, and in some cases raiders.’
‘I don’t think they were expecting to find themselves on the wrong side of a hole in the universe.’ Lennart said. ‘Carrying on with business as usual to keep the rank and file busy and out of too much trouble while the higher ups try to figure out what the kriff’s going on isn’t the worst option, under the circumstances.’

‘Why do I suspect we’re going to end up having first hand experience of that situation, a lot?’ Mirannon said. ‘Anyway, they had a wide selection of beads and baubles, but when it came down to value it resolved into cybernetics and medical technology from their side, and contragrav and power reactors from ours. In terms of military technology we should have an edge.’
‘I’m not so sure.’ Lennart admitted. ‘We may have better tools, but it’s a lot easier to steal technology than it is to steal experience and determination. When the sector governor lost it and ordered their arrest, they made a fighting retreat to the shuttle field- and tore an Imperial Army battlegroup apart in the process.’

‘Is that hard?’ Mirannon asked, sarcastically.
‘When you’re outnumbered as badly as they were, it should have been. We had the better kit and they had the better men.’ Lennart pointed out. ‘The starfleet were called in too late to intercept that ship- there was some combat with the patrol boats, enough to give us some idea.
In space they can’t aim worth a damn- but they can plan and think. Lured the lead echelons in to point blank, enough to get a good look, then tore them apart with point defence and opened main gun fire on the rest. Wide area shoots at medium range, heavy corvette or light frigate hitting power.

Bizarrely, I don’t think they’re much of a tactical threat- but they may be a strategic one. If they can put something that physical size in the hands of a frontier outrider, what does a main force battle group look like?
Diplomatically, we’ll have to see- at least we have enough language samples to start work with. I reckon our plan may be the same as their accident, find an outworld and data- mine it. Oh and give me that form.’
Mirannon shoved the requisition form across the table to him, Lennart scored out the ‘250,000’ and filled in ‘1’. ‘You wanted enough of the things to unpeel and line the hull, didn’t you?’ he asked.

‘Yes.’ The engineer replied. ‘As it is, we’re going to need to find out very quickly what they use for health and safety, and for protective gear. They survived here, there’s nothing about the equations that I can find that makes that universe unlivable for us, but gargling thorium doesn’t kill you quickly either. We should do a fast hit and run on the first pass, take what we can find and get out. One cage is barely enough to serve as a shelter/saferoom for anyone who loses it.’
‘Is that an official recommendation?’ Lennart asked.
‘Does it have to be?’

‘For the record.’ Lennart pointed out. ‘Also, one other frightening aspect of this- we may have to start being a lot more by the book in general. If we’re going to be the official face of the Empire at large.’
Mirannon tried not to, but couldn’t help it- he cracked up, doubling over and pounding his fist on the desk, laughing. ‘That is truly terrifying,’ he managed, ‘and at the same time utterly ridiculous.’
‘You’re telling me? At least it should make misdirection easier.’ Lennart found the bright side. ‘We’ll move to off the mouth of the wormhole, wait for that to arrive, then go through and see what there is to be found.’




From the diaries of Commissar Cain;

The trip through the warp was fast enough, but it couldn’t have been over a moment too soon. According to Lachlan, who seemed to be at least a part time techmarine, that was a peculiarity of most small Astartes ships; they ran with the protective wards up high enough that they interfered with normal human mental ability, not just psykers and the warp.
In theory, that meant they could take bigger risks, pass through wilder and more turbulent currents- something I would have been happier not knowing- get a little extra speed they used to serve the patrol, fast reaction mission. Battlebarges were too unwieldy to take many of the same risks, so they usually didn’t bother.

The marines got away with this because their biological reinforcement left them still able to think clearly enough to handle the ship, but it left me running around like a headless snowowl trying to look after a regiment almost all of whose members might as well have been three sheets and a pillowcase to the wind- with me about ready to join them.
The suppressive effects of the wards reduced effective intellect, and they reduced inhibition. In a mixed regiment that was a recipe for disaster, and I can’t pretend I didn’t feel it myself.

I was called to the bridge of the ship; once I managed to find it, it was like swimming in light- holofields everywhere, monitor stations and controls mostly flickering luminance in the air.
I walked gingerly, trying to pick my way through the displays and avoid the parts that were actually meaningful- noticing that, weirdly, all the writing was very small and all the controls were very big.
Lachlan was in the captain’s command throne, four other stations around him, two occupied by other battle brothers of the chapter, engines and systems, two empty- weapons and auspexes that didn’t matter in the Immaterium.

‘Now tell me this, Commissar,’ he said, sounding disapproving, ‘no’ being entirely familiar with them as I am, is it usual practise for integraated regiments of the Guard to attempt to attempt to secure their numbers by breedin’ their own recruits?’
‘What?’ I said, slowly. I realised that I was staring at the pretty colours. I took another step towards him, and felt myself wobble. Lightheaded, too- to reduce it to one word, I felt drunk. Impossible.
The image in front of me changed, and I found myself two inches away from a lifesize holographic representation of Mari Magot’s buttocks. Bare, and bouncing up and down.

Lachlan glared at the chapter serf responsible, and the image pulled back to the refectory third company was using as a mess hall. And, apparently, orgy room. I boggled. I found myself on the verge of swearing vengeance on the lot of them for letting me down and smearing the reputation I had worked so hard to maintain- then realised that if I was about to give tongue to something as suicidally stupid as that, there really was something wrong.
‘Afore I turn the fire suppression system on them, would ye care to try and explain this?’ The marine said, grimly.

‘This makes no sense, they’ve got more sense of duty than that.’ I said, and it came out slightly slurred.
‘Are you entirely yourself?’ he asked me.
‘No.’ I realised. ‘And that…you’re fine. Contamination.’ I guessed, wrongly but a fairly good effort under the circumstances. ‘Something your biosorcery can cope with but we can’t. Never happened like this before, something’s definitely wrong.’
‘Are you seriously suggestin’ ‘ he said, and I noticed the battle brother at the systems station trying not to laugh, ‘that we somehow managed to poison an entire Guard regiment wi’ some kind of aphrodisiac?’

‘Not necessarily, there’s a fair amount of brawling, graffiti and petty theft.’ I said, misplaced humour maybe. ‘More like they’ve lost all sense of self control- too good a unit for that. Never happened before, or on any other troopship. Got to be something here.’
‘Can you not get them to stop? They definitely are doin’ it in the corridors and it would be frightenin’ the horses if we had any, as it is the machine spirit isnae’ takin’ it too well.’

It was in my hands to deal with. If ever there was an internal discipline problem that amounted to a commissar’s responsibility, this was it. ‘I’ll see what I can do.’
‘We’ll pump calmin’ incense through the vents,’ that was a euphemism for trank gas, ‘and switch the secondary scrubbers into the life circuit, see if that does ony good, but much more of this misbehaviour might raise a resonance that gives something outside the ship mair of a chance than we’d like. Not that the problem of having a servant of the infernal powers pop up in your troopers’ midst might no’ result in a significant improvement in their concentration.’

‘That could happen?’ I said, almost shocked back into full alertness.
‘We are tryin’ to make in thirty hours a run that would take a troopship maybe three weeks; to push so hard everything has to be just so, we’re passin’ through the tides of the warp so fast even the atomic barnacles are having trouble haudin’ on, and this lack of focus within is no’ conducive to survival.’
‘I said I’ll go and see what I can do. Do you have a layout of the ship?’

He threw a dataslate at me, most of it blanked out, but the corridors and spaces around the bay where the regiment were was showing in full detail- which changed as I watched, obviously tied into the ship’s internal sensors. I nodded, and left the bridge- almost colliding with Jurgen in the process.
They had refused to let him on the bridge, understandably, but as I bumped into him, my head started to clear. For once some positive aspects of his miasma, I thought, being too preoccupied to draw the obvious conclusion.

I have done my best to forget the next twenty hours; there is a time and a place for the animal side to show a fang, and I dare say I have more than my share of it, but the passage decks of a frigate trying to set a speed record through the warp, with daemons outside and disapproving supermen within, is not it.
Getting everyone back to their own beds was a task, and from time to time a surprise; I didn’t even bother trying to chase up Colonel Kasteen- I didn’t want to know. Deciding I felt that way was one of those surprises.

Blackmail material is one thing, but I had to work with the woman, and catching her in a compromising position that would make it impossible for us to work together- or worse, would oblige me to shoot her- well, it would ruin my reputation with the regiment, ruin what was, I was prepared to admit in a slightly lightheaded state, a friendship.
I wanted to see that she was safe, but at this precise point what she was in most danger from was the regimental Commissar. There was a straightforward solution- send Jurgen, with instructions to be discreet.

Which left me without his protection, at the worst possible time. I was looking stern and noble and trying to recall them to their duty- with some success; whatever they were under the influence of couldn’t have been that potent.
I saw a blur on my left, had time to half- turn towards it when it, or rather she, tackled me bodily and adhered to me. I found myself looking into a pair of glazed, crazed eyes set in a long flushed face; Sulla.
She was clinging on, her own feet off the deck, and we fell over and she rolled herself on top and began to gabble at me.

Some kind of aphrodisiac, I remembered Lachlan’s words. Throne protect me.
She couldn’t hold it in any longer, she had always worshipped me from afar- which was not a bad thing for the male ego in general, but coming from horse-face Jenit Sulla? The horror.
She started to try to undo my uniform buttons, and I tried to do them back up, trying not to panic- she kept rambling, I’m sure the line ‘I want to have your babies’ was in there somewhere, and I tried to think of a gentlemanly way to tell her no, then gave up on that and resorted to rolling her off of me.

She wailed ‘But I love you-‘ and then her eyes crossed and she slumped into a heap, to the accompaniment of a, for once, welcome stench.
‘How’s the Colonel?’ I asked my dishevelled and immensely useful aide, preferring not to think too hard about the twitching, mumbling body on the floor.
He reversed the lasgun he had used to knock her out, and started fumbling in his first aid pouch- I stopped him. Not even she deserved that. ‘Send for a medicae.’

‘Yes, Sir. By the way, Colonel Kasteen is fine, Major Broklaw’s with her at the moment.’ He said, imperturbable as ever.
I did feel a stab of jealousy, but at the end of the day, they were both responsible adults well past the age of consent. Whatever happened, provided they could work it out and deal with the consequences professionally- as long as the regiment didn’t suffer- it was within bounds. Damn them both.

I spent the rest of the trip putting everyone I could find to some kind of make- work, leading runs up and down the corridors, scrubbing and polishing and overhauling our own kit- chivvying most of first company into a chimera- disassembling race- busywork and distractions, good old fashioned army nonsense.
By the time we crashed back out of the warp, I was exhausted- but there was always more to do, not least tracking down and disciplining or reassuring, as appropriate, the sources of the dozens of variations on ‘Sacred Emperor, what have I done?’ I heard as we came through into the materium.


The Quaestio Abstrusa turned out to be a Ramilies- class star fort, the base station for- whatever was going on. Huge hulking great thing as it was, it was almost obscured by the ships hovering around it.
Troopships are one thing, but- fortunately- I’ve managed to avoid having enough to do with the fighting end of the navy to become an expert on the subject.
Even I could manage to recognise an Emperor class battleship, the hundred- metre tall letters embossed on her bow proclaiming her the Lux Aeterna, with dozens of smaller craft forming a battlefleet around her.

I was on the bridge, with a very embarrassed looking Kasteen and Broklaw, when Lachlan reported in to his authorities- a glimpse of a large, complex, multi- tiered bridge behind the Astartes Captain, red- haired, huge, scarred, and preoccupied looking.
‘Ah, Lachlan, ye made good time. Anything to report?’ he asked.
‘Ay, a most regrettable series of incidents-‘ he explained, in an almost superhuman lack of precise detail, what had happened.
Ruaridh- the entire chapter seemed be on first name terms, not surprising really- thought about it, then asked one question. ‘What did ye have your gellar fields dialled up tae?’

‘Ultima, as per- ah. Aye. Right.’ Lachlan reported, then realised what he had done.
‘You eejit.’ Ruaridh berated him. ‘If there was any justice, in nine months I’d assign you tae them to burp them and change their diapers. Colonel, accept the apologies of the Chapter, and if there’s anything we can do for you, just ask.’
Kasteen looked genuinely surprised to be apologised to rather than the other way around, but wasn’t in a mood to go into detail about exactly what had happened and why.

Just as we were disembarking, I managed to find Lachlan in one of the gun bays- he seemed to be hiding- and put the question to him directly. That was when I got the explanation out of him about gellar fields.
‘So it was basically your fault?’
‘Aye.’ He admitted, embarrassed. ‘Standard procedure for making a speed run, I wasn’t thinking in terms of having women on board at aal, it never occurred to me that that could fa’ out like that.’

‘I should probably explain to the Colonel- and to the rest of the women of the regiment, for that matter.’ I said.
‘I’d prefer it if you didnae’. It’s going to take me decades to live this down as it is.’ Lachlan said, with a hard edge to his voice that kicked my suspicions into overdrive.
‘That could cause me some problems.’ I fenced.
‘As mony as me mentioning in certain interested quarters that your aide seemed entirely untouched by a psy effect that had most of the rest o’ the regiment behaving like horny teenagers?’ Lachlan countered.

For a brief second I debated with myself calling his bluff; long enough for the Astartes superman to notice, and to figure out that there really was something to it.
‘The Inquisitor already knows.’ I said, avoiding mentioning which one.
‘Which means he’s keepin’ it a secret from all the rest of them.’ Lachlan pointed out. True, but at least he didn’t know about Amberley.
‘This is blackmail.’ I said.

‘Well, the term was invented in auld Caledonia back on earth in mid M2, so Ah suppose by now you could almost call it tradition. It is a harsh word, though- shall we say, an informal agreement of confidentiality?’
It had been a very long time since I met anyone who could play me at the game of survival and come off with a draw- or better.
‘Has the Holy Inquisition never tried to recruit you?’ I said, meaning that perhaps they could be induced to.
‘Ach, we’re not holy enough for the likes of them. We keep tryin’ tae get the deathwatch to change their name to the Black Watch, after ‘a- a good old traditional title, they’re even the right colour.’

‘So…’ I prompted him.
‘I think you’ve forgotten which of us is puttin’ the offer forward. Shall we agree to let sleepin’, no, no, wrong image, that there are some things more conveniently left unsaid?’
The vision of Jurgen hauled off into the ranks of the Inquisition swam before me. Being forced to do without his literal- minded devotion to duty- actually having to do my own job- and being exposed to every passing psyker, no.
‘It’s a sound principle.’ I agreed, cautiously.


We made the station eventually, and it was ridiculously busy; the Ramilies has berthing pylons, and hangars to support them, and they were filling up fast. There must have been at least thirty regiments, and more due to arrive from the way the ones already here were being asked to bunch up. Open decking, racks on the wall indicated we were in a torpedo bay that had been fitted with false floors.
Arriving on Marine transport as we did, we gathered a fair amount of attention; I couldn’t tell all and most of the command staff didn’t want to, but Throne only knows what kind of impression the other units got from our rank and file.

Dealing with the officers of the other units, sorting out who was who and what was what, was informative in a skin- crawling kind of way. The rumour mill had been running overtime, and they wasted not a moment in trying to scare us.
Lachlan had been more or less right, as far as what little they had been officially told went- there would be almost a hundred regiments here once the battle group reached full strength, and from them a first invasion wave of a dozen, a second invasion wave of twenty, and two blocking groups, one to hold against any invasion from the far side- of what I didn’t know yet- one to do that too but stand ready to follow us into alien space.

‘Us?’ I asked the Colonel I was talking to- a tall, heavy man in some kind of chameleon cloak, New Tanith 88th apparently.
‘Oh yes. We have the details already.’ He smiled, faintly.
‘Did we miss the official briefing?’ I asked, thinking that it would be something of a relief if we had.
‘Just the unofficial heads up.’ The colonel said, looking intently at me as if trying to decide that he could trust me. Were we all liars and chancers, were there no straight men left? Being about to be surrounded by people like me was a distinctly worrying thought.
‘Independent action, in the best interests of the Imperium?’ I said, and apparently struck a chord.

He laughed. ‘Something of a regimental tradition. We’re brigaded with you; Fourth Brigade First Wave, your 597th, my 88th and the Korovkan 5th Armoured, plus enough odds and sods to get in the way- we’ve been arguing for days about how to organise it all. Damien Caffran, by the way.’
‘Ciaphas Cain.’ I formally introduced myself, sounding modest, as if I hadn’t expected my reputation to precede me. ‘Do you know anything about what we’re going to be up against?’

‘Only that every organisation has the slightest excuse to be here is, everyone’s angling for a limb of the tree.’ Presumably, that was a local saying. ‘Which sounds good until you notice that the upper ranks of the navy, the only people who really know anything for definite, tend to turn pale and hurry away as soon as the subject comes up.’ He grinned a twisted, bring-it-on grin.
‘Ah.’ I said, palms itching. ‘So whatever it is sounds good to everyone except the people who know what they’re talking about. Who else is involved, exactly?’

‘Name them.’ He shrugged. ‘Mechanicus- an exploratory group and a full by-damned titan legion in the first wave alone; Astartes- Deathwatch, and companies from half a dozen chapters including those Caledonian pirates; five commanderies of Sororitas to bore the enemy to death by singing hymns at them; a hundred regiments of Guard as an opening bid, and the Navy with the equivalent of a sector battlefleet; half a dozen rogue traders and more Inquisitors than you can shake a heretic at, all with their own private armies- if this isn’t a full blown Crusade, it’s a fething good imitation of one.’

‘Is irreverence one of your regimental traditions as well?’ I asked, trying to decide whether I needed to descend on him with the wrath of the Commissariat or if that would simply squander a useful source. I mean, death by hymn- singing is a fate that has nearly overcome me once or twice during a particularly long and boring service, but you don’t say that sort of thing. Not to the men in the long black coats- which was something that presumably he knew. Testing me?
‘I hardly think the Marines would be happy to be called pirates, and the devotion of the Sisters of Battle tends to express itself in showers of bolter and flamer fire.’ I said, hard edge in my voice.

‘Happy? They’re proud of it. I said it to the big redhead’s face, d’you know the answer I got? “Nah, we’re buccaneers, there’s a technical difference. Mainly that we hae a license to be pirates.”’ He said, wickedly imitating the Caledonian accent.
‘We’ve worked with them before, and while they may be a little raw around the edges, they get the job done. And we have the bagpipes in common, after all.’ That was obviously a private regimental joke- I wouldn’t grasp the full horror of that until later, and a tune called, I think it was ‘Hie, Johnny Cope’, and a long sloping glacis.

‘One thing though, they are radicals, and they have their full share of enemies and rivalries because of that.’ Colonel Caffran continued, in a darker undertone. ‘They use a lot of xenos tech- not that they deal with them in any meaningful sense, it’s more the ‘cold, dead hands’ approach, but they are comfortable around things and ideas that make a lot of other people’s skin crawl. A poor Guardsman has to walk carefully around situations like that. Particularly as the Titan Legion we’re going in with are almost as bad.’

At this point, I wasn’t sure how much more I wanted to know. Supermen with a highly peculiar sense of humour and radical to the edge of heresy, heterodox God- Machines, and a thick layer of the inquisition spread over it all- it seemed like a perfect recipe for chaos. In the small-c sense, of course- at least, I hoped so.
He wasn’t trying to get a rise out of me; he was trying to tell me, officially a hero Throne help me, that things were looking dubious and possibly about to get very much worse, in a way that he stood a chance of being able to laugh off if anyone took notice.

‘At this point, I think you would welcome a few hymn- singing emperor- botherers around the place.’ I said, trying to signal that I understood- without appearing to think oh, frak too loudly.
‘They would be, and will be once they get over the delusion that they understand war. The Sororitas we’ve exercised against, somebody’s idea- the Legate’s I think- their singing may be the most lethal thing about them. My first company took two hundred of theirs apart in five minutes. They don’t seem able to grasp the concept of cover. Or covering fire.’ He grinned. ‘Or landmines. When we tried that trick on the Marines, they dug them up and threw them at us. The sisters just-‘ he made an explosion gesture.

‘The chain of command’s more like a knot, and there are so many self- appointed heroes, so many independent interpreters of the divine will, that we stand a fair chance of being able to defeat ourselves regardless of what the xenos have to say about it.’ He sighed, largely for effect. ‘I suspect that doing His Majesty’s work is going to come down to Tommy-in-the-mud, as usual.’
There was the sound of bells form an overhead speaker, and a gruff, half mechanical voice announced ‘Command conference.’
‘Well,’ I said, ‘Let’s go and see what has to be done. The Emperor protects.’ I must have been terrified if I was prepared to resort to platitudes like that.



"I beseech thee, In the bowels of God, think it possible that you might be wrong."
-Oliver Cromwell to Parliament, 1647
"It is good to keep an open mind; but not so open that your brains fall out." Attributed to James Oberg

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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-16 10:20am
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Eleventh Century Remnant wrote:
just as well it's a dead end


Shame, a lot of promise here :) I for one won't complain if you keep it off the wall and non-serious, just to see where it goes.



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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-16 03:35pm
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Well, taking it seriously isn't always a requirement for your fic. I think we could upgrade this to crackfic if we gave you a couple of drams of Vodka and turned you loose on it.



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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-17 01:25pm
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Quote:
Is that a ship, or a temple district someone dug up and shoved an engine under?


Oh, Mirannon. :luv:

I don't know enough about 40k to know if your projections and characterizations are accurate, but they're definitely intriguing. The relationship between the Force and the Warp, especially. If he's anything like he is here, I definitely want to read the Ciaphas Cain books, at least.

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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-17 02:02pm
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This is an awesome start. It's a pity that you don't think that you could continue, because it hit the right note for me.

Darth Raptor wrote:
[...] If he's anything like he is here, I definitely want to read the Ciaphas Cain books, at least.

I think that the characterisation on Cain is very close to identical to that of the books. The feel certainly was :).



For example, suppose I wrote a book that within 30 years of the moon landing millions of people could be duped by bad science and endless hectoring into believing that it didn't happen... nah, can't do that, too unbelievable for a fantasy novel, right?--Terry Pratchett, The new Discworld Companion

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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-17 08:57pm
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That was Ciaphas Cain. Great job, I demand MOAR. Lennart/Cain's gonna be...mint.



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"You. Stupid. Shit." Victor desperately wished he knew enough Japanese to curse properly. "Davions take alot of killing." -Grave Covenant
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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-21 09:15pm
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Oh, all right, you talked me into it.
Won't be for a while, though, I spent most of the afternoon working up from the seed of the idea to an actual skeleton of plot.

As an aside, writing drunk is usually a bad idea, the punctuation goes downhill and my paragraph structure actually manages to get even worse. Drafting the plot while pissed, however, can have interesting results.
Not necessarily good ones. I can state with confidence that Lord-Inquisitor Kryptmann will not be appearing in this fic, after having tried to fit him in and got nowhere useful.

Mirannon's logic is interesting; amongst other things he defaults to the assumption that his colleagues on the other side of the wormhole are basically competent, and the spacegoing temple look of IoM starships is a sound design given the conditions they have to work with. Which, if that makes sense- the one ship they've got a good look at was a Lunar class cruiser in rogue trader hands, the one that came through the wormhole- means the conditions are fundamentally surreal.

In truth he's being wildly, excessively generous about his opposite numbers' competence, this is the Adeptus Mechanicus we're talking about. The basic reason I was doubtful about carrying this one on is the culture shock that both sides are going to be in for, and the long term effects that should have on both universes.

Which is one of the reasons why Ciaphas Cain; although I was worried whether or not I actually could get the tone right, most of the characters- especially Amberley- have broader mental horizons than the average denizen of Grimsdarksville, and should manage to do something other than fulminate in psychotic rage or start gibbering. I'll try and arrange an adequate supply of occasions for him to be reluctantly yet significantly heroic.

For those of you who know 40K ship types, you should get a laugh out of this; Sgiamh- 'scream' in Gaelic- and the rest of the Glaive class are developments of the Gladius class used by the rest of the Astartes, which is in itself a development of the Imperial Navy standard Sword class gunship frigate. The difference; in order to keep the navy slightly happier about the independent spacefleet possessed by the Astartes, the Glaive removes all the conventional ship to ship weaponry- and replaces it with bombardment cannon. Which tells you all you need to know about their attitude to cool toys, and to the codex astartes.

40K is a good place for a crossover, because the numbers don't have to be fiddled all that much; the others that I had in draft form were-
ST;TOS, in the fourth year of the five year mission, and essentially a chase scene, as a relatively generous interpretation of the original Enterprise tries to divert, distract and lead into danger a probing Imperial destroyer. Playing chase through the uber-race minefield, to the energy barrier at the edge of the galaxy and back again.

Lensman series- specifically, the stalemate in the mid stages of Galactic Patrol, before the invention of tractor zones and primary beams. Which side's the Galactic Empire going to find itself on? In theory it pretends to Civilisation, but it's got a lot more in common under the skin with Boskonia.

Any other bright ideas? Expect a new chapter in about a week, BTW.

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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-22 04:17pm
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Woohoo!

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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-23 12:43am
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I'm not at all up on 40k. Infact I know nothing.

What of Weber's Honorverse? It would be interesting, with the gravity wedges the ships use for shields.

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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-23 07:25am
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Given the heavy use of hyperspatial maneuvering done by the Black Prince and its attached squadron, they could dodge out of the path of missiles all day, and come out of it in position to throw a couple teratons down the throat every time once they figure out how it works.

Also, I think even the most modest of Interdictors would probably play havoc with sidewalls and drive wedges, but that's just my opinion.



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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-23 08:29am
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Looks interesting, the Cain stuff is very fun and "in tone" :)



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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-24 04:13pm
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Eleventh Century Remnant wrote:
ST;TOS, in the fourth year of the five year mission, and essentially a chase scene, as a relatively generous interpretation of the original Enterprise tries to divert, distract and lead into danger a probing Imperial destroyer. Playing chase through the uber-race minefield, to the energy barrier at the edge of the galaxy and back again.

Well, it could have given an entirely different twist to Star Trek Voyager-End Game (It's final episode), no need for the :wanker:.

Anyway, the view things I know of 40K comes from some Tau and Eldar model kits.
And that ain't much. :mrgreen:



Nothing like the present.

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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-26 12:45am
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I finally got to read this.

MORE.



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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-26 02:38am
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It'll be fun to see the Imperium's reaction to the mixed species forces that the Empire deploys. What few of them there are, as I think from what we see most of them are in the supply areas. On the same note, I wonder how the Eldar will react to the new 'idiotic' Mon-keigh and their allies. The Tau will be happy to see someone else taking up their ways, until the first landing craft touches down and tosses out a few thousand stormtroopers.

On the other hand I wonder how the Empire will react to the Space Marines. 'Nuke it from orbit, its the only way to be sure,' comes to mind on that subject. Or the fact that compared to the Imperium, the Empire is a welcoming and supportive friend to the non-humans and some ab-humans.

*Cackles madly at the thought of a female Twi'lek teasing the hell out of the Imperial Guard Troopers. They won't know what to make of it, except that they should most likely kill themselves for having such thoughts.* :angelic:

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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-26 12:30pm
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Compared to the Imperium, the Galactic Empire is a paragon of liberal egalitarianism. The fact is that discrimination against women and non-humans, where it exists, is a matter of institutional rot, not official policy. More a result of the GFFA's inhabitants being stupid medievalists than of any deliberate puppy kicking by the Empire. The Tau are practically Thrawnists already, but their civilization is far too tiny to be of any notice. The Ordo Xenos will probably have a meltdown, while the AdMech will be simultaneously crying heresy and creaming in their pants.

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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-26 02:12pm
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No particular reason why the rift can't be near Tau space, if you want to have a meeting of the blueskins.



"I'm sorry, you seem to be under the mistaken impression that your inability to use the brain evolution granted you is any of my fucking concern."
"You. Stupid. Shit." Victor desperately wished he knew enough Japanese to curse properly. "Davions take alot of killing." -Grave Covenant
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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-26 04:19pm
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Replying in reverse order;
if Ciaphas Cain's involved- and he is, up to his commissar's cap in it as usual- then the wormhole pretty much has to be near Tau space.

Which could be superlatively bad for the Tau. They really are too small, there simply aren't enough of them to matter; what, the equivalent of ten sectors to the Imperium of Man's ten thousand minimum, maybe orders of magnitude more? In terms of the balance of power, they are the very small fly sitting on one end of the weighbridge. They may try desperately to matter, throw themselves on to centre stage, but it's a long shot.

Mind you, the more of them the merrier; the Lions of Caledon have got a real affection for Tau gear, it's got so little warp signature, so shallow a machine spirit, it's extremely easy to deprogram and read in to imperial service. :twisted:

How the institutional picture is going to go...well, a big problem on either side is that several of the institutions that matter are highly personalised, the Inquisition above all. I fully expect- and intend- individual reactions, personal viewpoints, likes and dislikes to severely distort the overall picture, and the smarter elements on both sides to be playing this for all it's worth.

The Eldar are in complete intellectual turmoil. A new universe drills it's way into theirs, disfiguring the future almost beyond recognition with wild and drastic possibilities, very few of which are to their advantage? Of course they're going to panic. For once they are going to have to do something unplanned, willy-nilly, and whatever the cost.

Incidentally, what Tau ways? A mate of mine- someone I used to play 40K with as a matter of fact- is convinced the Tau are based on North Korea. The caste system, the Greater Good- I don't believe Keef entirely but he makes a good case.

When you consider the rigorous mental conditioning Marines are supposed to undergo also, they do not come out of that stupid. Crazy maybe. They're going to be trouble.


Oh, and I'd like to remind you that this is not actually the story I intended to write. I started this as a vent, essentially, a bit of light relief while steering the main plot to it's grim conclusion of Force-fuelled treason and murder, and posted it because I had enough fun writing it that I thought you might be interested too.

I had actually intended to work on option 2, open with Black Prince going into refit and Lennart's informal hearing to determine whether court martial proceedings are in order, and in fact Hull 721, Arc 2 chapter the first is pretty much written, although I don't know what I'm going to do with that now.


Weber. What's the saying? Relativity, Causality, FTL travel, pick two?
The Warp, at least it makes as much sense as it has to for the purposes of the plot- which is to say wildly aphysical to the point of out and out magic, but at least internally consistent. I'm going with the reality-from-a-tachyonic-perspective interpretation of Hyperdrive, no worries there.
Gravity, in the Weberverse, propagates at above C. Trying to think through what the implications of that ought to be makes my head hurt. Trying to figure out how something designed and powered under an alternative set of physical laws behaves when it's plunged into a universe where one of the four fundamental forces has leapt free from the bounds of causality may be enough to make it explode.

The story itself would be easy enough, but writing up the background notes would be a bastard.


Ch 3 should be up Tuesday, maybe Wednesday. In case you were wondering about the tone, it includes the line "Ah, well. He wouldn't be the first Inquisitor the chapter's killed and eaten."

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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-26 04:38pm
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Eleventh Century Remnant wrote:
I had actually intended to work on option 2, open with Black Prince going into refit and Lennart's informal hearing to determine whether court martial proceedings are in order, and in fact Hull 721, Arc 2 chapter the first is pretty much written, although I don't know what I'm going to do with that now.


You will post it of course - there is no other option :-).




"In view of the circumstances, Britannia waives the rules."

"All you have to do is to look at Northern Ireland, [...] to see how seriously the religious folks take "thou shall not kill. The more devout they are, the more they see murder as being negotiable." George Carlin

"We need to make gay people live in fear again! What ever happened to the traditional family values of persecution and lies?" - Darth Wong
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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-26 06:49pm
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Raesene wrote:
Eleventh Century Remnant wrote:
I had actually intended to work on option 2, open with Black Prince going into refit and Lennart's informal hearing to determine whether court martial proceedings are in order, and in fact Hull 721, Arc 2 chapter the first is pretty much written, although I don't know what I'm going to do with that now.


You will post it of course - there is no other option :-).

He will post it one week, then a chapter of this the next week, then Chapter the Second of Hull 721 the following week, et-cetera, until both stories have reached a conclusion. :mrgreen:



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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-26 06:54pm
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Eleventh Century Remnant wrote:
Which could be superlatively bad for the Tau. They really are too small, there simply aren't enough of them to matter; what, the equivalent of ten sectors to the Imperium of Man's ten thousand minimum, maybe orders of magnitude more? In terms of the balance of power, they are the very small fly sitting on one end of the weighbridge. They may try desperately to matter, throw themselves on to centre stage, but it's a long shot.

Mind you, the more of them the merrier; the Lions of Caledon have got a real affection for Tau gear, it's got so little warp signature, so shallow a machine spirit, it's extremely easy to deprogram and read in to imperial service. :twisted:


BWAHAHAHA!! :twisted: They will most likely love the Empire's gear then.

Quote:
The Eldar are in complete intellectual turmoil. A new universe drills it's way into theirs, disfiguring the future almost beyond recognition with wild and drastic possibilities, very few of which are to their advantage? Of course they're going to panic. For once they are going to have to do something unplanned, willy-nilly, and whatever the cost.


I can easily see them almost throwing Eldar and Wraith at the portal to close it in a desprate bid to be able to view the future, and to guide it to their benefit.

Quote:
Oh, and I'd like to remind you that this is not actually the story I intended to write. I started this as a vent, essentially, a bit of light relief while steering the main plot to it's grim conclusion of Force-fuelled treason and murder, and posted it because I had enough fun writing it that I thought you might be interested too.


I think we were pretty much asking for this to be continued as a non-continuum relief fic.

Quote:
I had actually intended to work on option 2, open with Black Prince going into refit and Lennart's informal hearing to determine whether court martial proceedings are in order, and in fact Hull 721, Arc 2 chapter the first is pretty much written, although I don't know what I'm going to do with that now.


*Rubs his hands together at the head-ache that Lennart is giving his bosses.*


Quote:
"Ah, well. He wouldn't be the first Inquisitor the chapter's killed and eaten."


I am liking this chapter more and more... I wonder how their home-world is. Maybe something like the one from "Diary of a Space Marine."
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3477232/1/D ... ace_Marine

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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-26 10:27pm
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rodon wrote:
I am liking this chapter more and more... I wonder how their home-world is. Maybe something like the one from "Diary of a Space Marine."
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3477232/1/D ... ace_Marine


I have to thank you for this link. I find it hilarious.

I wonder if the marines are trying their best against 'Grandpa' while he's not really trying...

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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-27 12:55am
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Firethorn wrote:
rodon wrote:
I am liking this chapter more and more... I wonder how their home-world is. Maybe something like the one from "Diary of a Space Marine."
http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3477232/1/D ... ace_Marine


I have to thank you for this link. I find it hilarious.

I wonder if the marines are trying their best against 'Grandpa' while he's not really trying...
I just read the Diary as well. Very humorous, and I loved it.



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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-27 02:06am
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LadyTevar wrote:
Raesene wrote:
Eleventh Century Remnant wrote:
I had actually intended to work on option 2, open with Black Prince going into refit and Lennart's informal hearing to determine whether court martial proceedings are in order, and in fact Hull 721, Arc 2 chapter the first is pretty much written, although I don't know what I'm going to do with that now.


You will post it of course - there is no other option :-).

He will post it one week, then a chapter of this the next week, then Chapter the Second of Hull 721 the following week, et-cetera, until both stories have reached a conclusion. :mrgreen:



[Darth Vader] Because his readers are not as forgiving as I am [/Vader] if a story doesn't continue :-)




"In view of the circumstances, Britannia waives the rules."

"All you have to do is to look at Northern Ireland, [...] to see how seriously the religious folks take "thou shall not kill. The more devout they are, the more they see murder as being negotiable." George Carlin

"We need to make gay people live in fear again! What ever happened to the traditional family values of persecution and lies?" - Darth Wong
"The closet got full and some homosexuals may have escaped onto the internet?"- Stormbringer


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 Post subject: Re: A Squelch of Empires (crossover) PostPosted: 2008-10-27 03:15pm
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Eleventh Century Remnant wrote:
Oh, and I'd like to remind you that this is not actually the story I intended to write. I started this as a vent, essentially, a bit of light relief while steering the main plot to it's grim conclusion of Force-fuelled treason and murder, and posted it because I had enough fun writing it that I thought you might be interested too.

I had actually intended to work on option 2, open with Black Prince going into refit and Lennart's informal hearing to determine whether court martial proceedings are in order, and in fact Hull 721, Arc 2 chapter the first is pretty much written, although I don't know what I'm going to do with that now.

Just write it, even if you don't post it yet.
Would mean you would then have a first draft of Hull 721, Ark 2.



Nothing like the present.

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