Hull 721, plot arc the second

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InsaneTD
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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by InsaneTD » 2014-07-02 03:00am

Same. I'd love a dead tree version.

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Raesene
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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by Raesene » 2014-07-02 01:18pm

Still reading - and enjoying every paragraph :-)

"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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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by Esquire » 2014-07-02 04:37pm

This is a wonderful story and I enjoy every new chapter-fragment. :D
“Heroes are heroes because they are heroic in behavior, not because they won or lost.” Nassim Nicholas Taleb

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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by Simon_Jester » 2014-07-02 08:37pm

InsaneTD wrote:Same. I'd love a dead tree version.
Thirded.

ECR, while I obviously can't say I only come to the site purely for Hull 721, it was one of the first things about SDN that I genuinely, sincerely enjoyed, which had a lot to do with why I sort of limpeted onto the place, even to the exclusion of forums I used to visit last decade.

I think your stuff played a major role in my breakthrough of 'oh, that's how to write fiction!' which is a talent I don't indulge regularly these days but do take out for a spin now and then, and derive happiness from the spinning.

Honestly, while I'd still be on the site if not for you, I wouldn't check User Fiction more than about once a month. This is not to say that the other people who write here are incompetents or anything, many of the pieces I happen to see here are quite good. But they just... somehow fail to engage me, on the "ooh, I wonder if this got updated!" level.

Lennart and friends do.
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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by Road Warriorz44 » 2014-07-02 11:23pm

Hello, I remember when my friend Fractalsponge told me about this ongoing story of yours and sent me a link. And... I have been following along every since. Love it. I check in from time to time- I don't want to necro (and I seem to catch the updates late) so I don't post....

This story is just damn brilliant. You just "get" this stuff. Like you were there and seen everything with your own eyes all the while jotting down notes as tracer elements of greens and reds flashed past. I keep thinking that you, Dr. Saxxon, and Fractalsponge should make an unofficial Guide to the Imperial Military.

Pardon my somewhat disjointed sentencing as I'm pretty pooped atm. I just had to chime in and say Thank You, sir.

A quick question if I may: Seeing how Hull 721 is about the naval side of things I was wondering if you ever plan or have planned on showing us a major planetary operation? The reason I ask if that I always have wondered about how Fleet and Army Command mesh in an engagement. How transport command plays into the picture and various other aspects of such a massive assault.

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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by Eleventh Century Remnant » 2014-07-04 08:35am

I have a very embarrassing admission to make; yes, my ego is this fragile, and yes, I am that childishly motivated by the praise of others.

For someone who believed that the essence of competence in writing is perseverance, who appreciates flashes of lightning but above all admires the ability to push something through, to take a premise and write, grind it out to its' logical conclusion, it is worrying to see how readily I respond to encouragement.

Next bit;

The loyalist captain had to make a snap decision- rely on guns or rely on engines to save him? Turn stern on, main engine flare, the last ditch defence so many ships found themselves having to rely on, or trust in his gun and jammer crews to reduce the size of the incoming volley to something the shields could cope with?

A small ship running might find ion flare more practical, but they were a destroyer. That did not mean unsubtle, though, not this ship, and a feint would make sense- a quick kick of power from the gemon- 4 secondary engines, balanced gravitically, and the forward rocket controller fell for it. The torpedoes flared outwards, to avoid the billow of searing ions- which did not materialize, but the clouds of defensive fire did.

Swiftsure' s secondaries were of revised pattern, as well; seven quad medium turbolaser mounts, neither one thing nor the other in this fight, but her light guns were arranged in hexagon pads, four turbolasers, two ion cannon around a central light tractor beam. The tractor was the key element in the assembly; first catch your rebel.

The tractors could sweep on beam mode for a contact, and once they had a touch snap up to full power, pin it and make it a much easier target for the guns; less megalithic an investment in gravitics than Black Prince's Corellian emitters, but possibly more practical on a routine day to day basis. They were able to switch back now to protect their own.

Close in defence consisted of groups of four gun blisters, two of them with twin TIE fighter lasers, two with triple heavy blasters. A mix actually biased more towards the antimissile, with the light, rapid shot of the blasters, than otherwise; previously they had been able to depend on their fighter wing.

Shulmar realised he had been sold a feint only seconds later, but they were important seconds. The forty torps were commanded to avoid the drives, which was a manoeuvre of wasted time and thrust, made them crossing targets but sooner than otherwise practical, brought them under fire.

Olghaan' s gunners were better trained in live fire against live targets than most, but they weren't expecting to get them all, just reduce the attack to a scale the shields could cope with. Another slight advantage in that the torpedoes would be manoeuvring for simultaneous detonation, trying to achieve that one massive converging blow that could blast through the shields and do real damage. That might be another couple of seconds for the gunners, but at that stage they would need them.

The rain of green flashed out, teaching for the attackers, paler and tinted with fire orange from the blasters, bluegreen from the slower and more devastating lasers, fire control matching mounts to incoming and maximizing chances, forward to aft and nearest first, successful clusters switch to the next unengaged.

In the galaxy of the Force, most believe that living things still have the edge over machines, in grasp of the sudden and surprising, in comprehension of the complicated and emergent; not necessarily wrong, but to make good on that promise there can be no human slack, no mental flabbiness, no hesitation. The humans need to be at their best to compete.

Swiftsure' s gunners were good. Shooting for their lives, they let that work for them, used the fear to give energy and urgency, held it back from affecting their judgement. There was another wrinkle; the incoming needed better than four rounds in a second on target to overwhelm the surge capacity of the shielding and do actual damage.

Swiftsure' s shields could ride less than that out, if it could be done. Her point defence guns were already firing when the light turbolasers came back from supporting Forntarch to add their mite; a kill, a start but- white blaring light as another was hit but not instantly wrecked, salvage fusing setting it off but beyond effective range, critical density of the energy stream too low, too easily deflected; not enough.

Two more clean kills, a pair of salvage fused longshots from torps clipped by blaster fire, the first good hit from a torpedo that had slipped out of a tractor beam' s hold to reach in and explode. Not much a commanding officer could do; too much was happening in too many separate places to control in detail, even if it would have been wise. The difference he could make to this had already been made in last quarter's training schedules.

Surface explosion; damnit, how? One of the low orders putting enough power through a firing gap in the shielding to blast the turret cluster under it? If they suffered no worse they would be lucky. Three interceptions and two, stang, no, two hits and two low orders, damnably close.

Another cluster of five weaving to lose distance and arrive at the critical threshold at the same time, caught- one wrecked in a clean hit, one ionized and prematured, that one, no, shavvit, three hits. Glance over at the shield controller, one hand moving and fingers flying faster than the eye could follow, the other clutching the edge of the console, pale- knuckled.

Close. They were actually losing something from their terminal guidance; a formalism being imposed that a formalism could meet. That group; two kills, two torps almost sideswiping each other, not quite- the neutrino output graph looked like a seismogram of an earthquake- one premature, spike, peak- four in quick succession before the energy of the partial had been bled away.

The last pushed over the threshold; hit on the dorsal surface over the launch bay, incomplete penetration, the first scar.

Cloud of burning durasteel vapour that interfered with point defence, the shock and the fouled lines of sight making it likely there would be more, a weakness to be exploited. There was a boom and the ship rocked- a round detonating in the blind spot behind the engine bells, interfering with the gravitic anchor to the planet; compensated for.

Scale of the attack peaking at the last, cluster coming in together, ring of defensive fire narrowing down to an arc, what were they going to try to threaten, their setup for further action? Aim for the engines, that's his target, he wants to dance. Olghaan was right; the last of the salvo slipped and twisted aft, aiming for the thruster bells.

Two kills, good, one premature- rate was good, might slide through this round- kriff! Torps weren't supposed to be smart enough to play dead- to fake being hit, bastard- six detonated together.

The fifth blast was visible from the bridge; the cone of dawn- time incandescent particle soup they threw had actually missed its' precise target, thrown off by jamming just enough to spear through the structure and armoured overhang above the upper starboard secondary engine. There would be shock and heat damage, but that was almost a relief.

The other valid hit was no such glance and glare. Straight into and through the lower port secondary; thump and a flicker as the compensators adjusted to the loss of thrust, felt more as a gust of wind than anything else.

That was the last of them accounted for; there was another clunk a few seconds later as damage control cut loose and jettisoned the parts that were thoroughly wrecked, mostly fragments of ion coil that were glowing hot enough to make most stellar cores envious, and set to work to contain and prevent further damage and save what they could.

If the physical damage had felt no more than a gust, the capability damage, revealed as the manoeuvring board recalculated the ship's current balance, felt more like a stab to the heart. Lost agility gave a guide how the rest of the fight was going to go.

He wants to set up a close range, tumbling, rolling fight, Olghaan realised, a dogfight with star destroyers. Remaining close to a planet he can use to cover his approach to that is no longer a smart move, especially as we've lost the ability to keep him contained.

Another thing, he thought looking down at the gash in the armour plate, heat sinks draining it down from molten to twisted and blackened. We have the images of what the renegade looked like before going in for refit; scarred, discoloured, motley. Whereas we have always been a shiny ship, pristine anti- flash white, and quick to return to that state after scarring.

Now that's a stretch, assuming he meant to do the psychological damage of leaving us marked and branded. Hard to be that subtle with a teraton warhead- although I could believe it of him. And we are not the worst.


Forntarch was steadying out, what manoeuvre thrusters she still had operational firing to control her spin and tumble; not that that was her largest problem, although it did make it easier for other ships to render aid- which was an interesting tactical conundrum.

She was far from their only cripple, the corvette and frigate elements had been ravaged and they were likely to be the target of the missiles the renegade fighters had retained. Could have been already but they were obviously picking their moment.

That was a sensible operations plan from their point of view- wait for the damaged (an understatement and then some) to be detached, make a run on them, force the fit to go to their aid, leave the renegade destroyer room to come up and head for space flat enough to jump clear from.

Or to further press the action, as the agility loss inflicted on us suggests. Well, Forntarch was electronically smashed, her jamming fit completely devastated- obviously that had been their priority one- and would be jury rigging the ability to jump out, even; no useful purpose could be served by keeping her in formation, but even getting her clear in no worse state would be a challenge.

One that Lennart actually expected him to try to take up? Two distinct directions then, the distant defensive fight and the edge of the atmosphere, rolling, tumbling duel- the most sensible prediction being that he would force whichever one the loyalists did not want. That would fit the way things had gone so far.

Massive tachyonic burst from Forntarch; heavy, low speed, was she venting fuel? No; she was using it as an emergency heat sink, venting waste heat back into the vessel and letting bled off fuel suck it up and carry it away. Two of the shield panels blew out, stabilized- radiator fins, trying to bring the molten structure of the ship down to the point where she stopped short of killing her crew.

Were any of her drives still functional? Was detachment even a feasible option? There were two other destroyers still down in the murk, bypassed and outmanoeuvred and one damaged, but not nearly so badly. Where were they? The entire point of sending a frigate down to take over the retrieval operations was so that Falcata would be able to rejoin.

Were they fighting shy? Not willing to face the renegade, not willing to do their duty for the Galactic Empire? He had transmitted his manifesto to them of course, whatever it was- wiser not to know. Had they heard and been convinced? Did the evil bastard, in addition to all his other tricks, have a political weapon as well?

What was there that could persuade someone you had just tried to kill that you had been right do do so, and that they had better join you? Especially against such opposition? 'Join us or live' had not historically been a very successful pitch. To challenge the might of the Empire-

Which at this point had lots of holes in it and was frantically bleeding off heat by every available means, trying not to be roasted alive or fried by the thousand kilometre an hour, five thousand degree winds roaring through Forntarch' s starboard companionways. They were venting, but there was so much damage. There was that.

What a bloody business this was turning out to be. One large capital, one of a handful of new model siege platforms, gone , two destroyers damaged at least, four Interdictor cruisers, didn't even want to add up the smaller ships and their casualty lists. How many careers?

Victory requiring no explanation and failure permitting no excuse, it was just possible that they weren't completely screwed yet. Destroy the renegade and they all might yet avoid being called to account for the losses they had taken. Hard for those who were written off in such a manner, but people counted less than results.

That was acceptable if you were someone who got results, if you could feed the beast with blood and glory, then power and privilege could be yours; that lesser beings got trod on was no drawback to anyone with the aggression and self confidence to get this far- they weren't going to be on the receiving end.

So far, anyway. The reverse of the medal was that lose, or fail, and you were lucky to get a quick, clean end from the enemy, the system itself usually opted for agonizing, humiliating and long drawn out. To watch rivals writhing in such a state had been one of the privileges of competence, in fact. Let him withdraw, and the system would call that a failure. Which tended to encourage the leaders to spend other people's lives freely in pursuit of victory.

Tried that and it didn't work.his own last fight, the one that had landed his ship in dock, had been task force against task force. He had headed straight for the enemy flagship himself, fought a duel against something with five times his gun power, kept his accompanying ships away from it and out of danger from it as far as possible.

We should have done the same, engaged him directly elite against elite, pushed him, made him sweat, then brought in the rest of the force on him when he had no time to engage them at will. Too late for that, and no possibility of getting back to it now. With the ship's that had gone down after him into the atmosphere, perhaps- if they were still answering.
The only purpose in my still being here is the stories and the people who come to read them. About all else, I no longer care.

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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by Simon_Jester » 2014-07-04 11:57am

Heh.

One, nobody perseveres at their best work if they feel like they're persevering for nothing; it's a psychological impossibility unless you're the world's only clockwork science fiction writer.

Two, I do like the regret 'we should have gone in for a duel against him rather than throwing other destroyers at him to soften him up.' The idea that that's the qualitative difference, more so than any question of which ship is better trained or has better equipment: do you get better results by letting the strong stalemate the strong so that the weak can maneuver, or by throwing the weak at the strong in hopes of dragging its blade out of line on their bodies?

Three. I would very much like to see Olghaan get clever enough to land a meaningful hit on Lennart, soon. Just enough to put a nice crack in that armor of plot-necessity "but he has to split them up and nail them one at a time to get an interesting endgame!" Personally I'd be aiming to do that soon, although your sense of dramatic timing is at least as good as mine so don't take my word for it.
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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by Andras » 2014-07-04 11:59am

What type of destroyer is Swiftsure again?

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Vianca
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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by Vianca » 2014-07-04 12:06pm

Tector, Andras.
A heavily modified Tector to booth.

Good chapter, Remnant, seems action is picking up again.
Nothing like the present.

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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by sropike » 2014-07-04 04:29pm

Another excellent chapter, ECR!
Praise is food for the Muse. Muses have to be fed.
Praise is also a fuel for perseverance. Everyone likes to be appreciated. Fanfiction authors, be they even be some of the best of the best like you, are no exception.
Thank you for another fine chapter. I especially liked Olghaans moment of ephifany? regret? understanding of his own weekness due to systematic (new order) thinking? something like that... that he automatically sacrificed his weak to gain an advantage instead of neutralizing the strong oppononet himself.
I also agree with Simon_Jester, the opponents of Lennert (Olghaan especially) need to shine about now to keep things "balanced". This is just an observation, it is your story, you weave it superbly, I may make humble observations, or even suggestions, but never more. It is your story, you are doing a damn good job and giving me free quality entertainment. THANK YOU!

Simon_Jester, I think the next crack in the amor will not be physical. Lennart also played the political card, utilized a political weapon. Those tend to bite the user on the ass. I think we are about to have an entrance from big, black, and menacing...

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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by kbird » 2014-07-06 03:42pm

Excellent work! Seems like we're headed for the endgame. I'd expect the final duel to be rough but exciting.

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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by sropike » 2014-07-06 04:44pm

kbird wrote:Excellent work! Seems like we're headed for the endgame. I'd expect the final duel to be rough but exciting.
Endgame? :)
You have soo much to learn, young padawan...

Seriously, the ship-to-ship fight may approach the endgame, the fight is also *shudder* political. Don't forget Vader :twisted:

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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by Eleventh Century Remnant » 2014-07-21 05:26pm

Another short update-


Holonet communications could penetrate down through the thick, turbulent layers of the planetary gas envelope, but not without considerable interference, mainly induction in the antennae rather than anything happening in the tachyonic- despite the enemy's best efforts.

Both destroyers, Ineffable and Falcata, still down there were taking full advantage of this. If they could not be expected to report in efficiently and clearly while in the deep storms, then they would not; they could use the time to think.

And to lick their wounds. Falcata had been badly ionized, and before that had managed to make enemies of the local lifeforms who had continued the process with a particular strange subtlety of their own. They were predatorial, active and searching, and the complex flowing, energetic, ever- shifting world in which they lived had given them at least the beginnings of intelligence.

Thinking of the earlier events, they could recognize a territorial dispute when they saw one. Hunter against Hunter; no prey animals here. One had strayed- or deliberately intruded, more likely given the course of the flight- into the territory of the others, who had tried to drive it off; but had been led, themselves, into an ambush.

What the strange large, hard things were or were capable of no- one knew, they had never been seen before, it was all yet to be reasoned out. The multicoloured one- tribal plumage, a mark of rank and status, a different breed of beast altogether, who could tell?- had crippled, lamed somehow, one of the pursuers but not found it necessary or useful to finish it off.

Could have done, but had chosen not to; perhaps this was not the whole of the business? There were more white birds in the hunt, and the lone multicoloured one could not afford the time to kill and eat- or was perhaps setting a trap.

(For utterly inhuman primitives operating on a radically different basis of life, they made rather better tactical analysts than most of the Starfleet' s flag officers, although not perfect- they were still missing a lot of the operational context.)

Which if their realm had been dragged into some larger conflict, could have consequences. The intruders had spoken, or perhaps shouted, taunted and mocked each other with speech, if that was what it was, of paralyzing complexity, and both sides had noticed them; the many- hued one had led the fight away from the flock- had boiled up a rich current for them, even;

The white ones had failed at them, shot at them, tried to shoo them away- reacted sourly, with hate and fear. Which mattered slightly less than who was likely to be the winning side, but...

They were not invulnerable, there was a wounded one right there, and it might be useful to take a closer look at one of these things and see what they were really capable of and what it might take them to do the same. Read the entrails, so to speak.

Ineffable had arrived in the area of the ionized Falcata to find her surrounded by cloud- mantas who seemed evident on completing her destruction, probing with their own natural emitters, throwing shades of the electromagnetic spectrum at the crippled destroyer, following Lennart's trick, or more likely preceding it by the span of evolution by heating and launching bursts of white hot gas;

Creatures of a titanic, violent world as they were, and near the top of its' food chain as they were, they did not have the raw power conferred by a galaxy spanning civilization across millennia of research and development; but uncomfortably close. Each of them perhaps qualified in the medium corvette class, which would not have been a threat to a fully functional destroyer; but Falcata was not fully functional, she was in their home skies, and there were many of them.

Prodded, pushed, pounded by magnetic shockwaves, electromagnetic beams and flashes, some of Falcata' s hotel, hardened, multiply redundant systems had started to fail. The force field architecture was usually the last to go, by the time the tensors gave out the rest of the ship was probably slag anyway; but the stormbirds were particularly insistent in reaching for the things that they did not understand.

Ineffable' s best option was to go in guns blazing; it took a moment of mental recalibration to switch from small squishy native life form, area defence up, to realising that only heavy turbolaser fire would make much of an impression on the atmosphere, never mind the creatures- which was a moment most of them had the sense to take advantage of and flee accordingly.

Lock on with tractor beams, expand the shield envelope to cover the damaged ship; keep the local lifeforms at bay with stabs of fire into the already boiling clouds, shape the standing waves of the shielding to slide away, up and out, to- hm. From one trap to another.

Falcata did have the manifesto Lennart had transmitted to them, and while there had been no leisure to make sense of it at the time, now was the moment to go through it looking for clues, for hints as to what he wanted to achieve.

One slightly depressing thing about professional (insofar as the Imperial Starfleet qualified) and political forces is that they are seriously short on misfits and eccentrics. Militia forces, conscripts- Rebels- tend to come from all over the social map, with a broad spread and stretch of viewpoints, backgrounds, abilities; carrying some of the wrinkly complexity of civil life into the services with them, they can often actually be better at the strange, unexpected and unpredictable.

Price of that is usually being less good at the one percent that is the important part, the flash, bang, zap, kaboom. Ideally, although in whose ideal- how differently would the clone wars have gone if the troopers had the ability to think contextually about what they were doing and why?- there should be a mixture of both.

Lennart had proceeded by allowing his initially professional crew to release their inner oddball, which had bred strange and fertile results, but ultimately something the system was willing to call rebellion, even if they weren't. Nobody on the loyal Falcata was crying why must we kill our brothers, they all knew perfectly well. No bleeding hearts or people predisposed to believe it.

Which made it slightly more worrying when their chief signal analysis officer reported that it looked as if the renegade was on to something. 'Captain, I need to review the organization order for the task group, there's a live issue here.'

Falcata' s commanding officer was not in a good mood; as a junior officer he had participated enthusiastically in what had at the time been permitted and encouraged competitive sports, his knees weren't what they used to be, and he was cursing whatever idiot art school failure of an impressionist interior designer had decreed that command of a warship should be exerted standing up.

Then again, there were other perfectly valid reasons to be in a foul mood. 'Is this going to get anything resembling useful information- what we need is what next, not why.'

'I think the task force commander may have been played for a fool; if what the renegade says has anything to it it's unlikely Olghaan' s fighting for who he thinks he is.'

Hyperwave holonet was certainly unreliable with the antennae exposed to this environment, but they could manage something as crude as picking up the howls of tachyonic noise that was given off when a ship's fuel cells ruptured. It wasn't hard for them to tell that there had been a lot of small ship casualties, including one maimed standard type destroyer- so not the quarry.

It was possible to tell by other sensors that the Interdictor cruisers were gone, too. Returning to the fight might have been attractive in theory, but so was still being around the next day. It was dangerous to be accused of cowardice, of fighting shy; that was a great weapon in the hands of carnivorous junior officers who wanted to become more senior.

Assuming that most of them didn't want to die either was never a sure thing- but if there was a good excuse, something that could be used to buy time for repairs and to let someone else take the heat, an element of doubt that, if it came to a count martial he could claim was a double bluff to sneak up on the renegade, that might be worth playing with.

Besides which, that terminal had a chair in front of it. 'This is it. Mox Slosin? Is that a being or a chemical? Ministry of Justice, not fleet at all- does he even have the authority to demand that navy ships start shooting at each other? No, but Vader does, and Swiftsure, a special operations boat, works out of Imperial Centre.

Slosin has a roving brief, he's a troubleshooter, he doesn't do visible things, the Party almanac makes him sound like a mid level functionary but if the dirty trick squadron are willing to act on his word-'

'Or Senior Captain Olghaan has outsmarted himself by reading between the lines and finding something that isn't actually there. Captain of the Line Lennart is alleging malfeasance in office, a conspiracy against the Emperor himself, being organized within the Ministry of Justice-'The com- scan officer began to suggest.

'If there's anything to it at all, then the conspiracy are going to want him dead, and if Slosin can persuade Olghaan that it is a legitimate shoot, or that he's acting on behalf of someone senior enough to be obeyed without question- and being spec ops Swiftsure' s definition of legitimate is going to be less law conscious than most. Then we are essentially fighting to help overthrow the Empire.' The captain said.

'If the renegade's accusations are grounded in fact, and on the basis of five minutes skimming...could be, then we are at least on the wrong side of a faction fight. How do you crosscheck something like this?'

The captain moved over to the damage control repeater. There were others in worse state, but the ship was a mess, tensor failures had imploded and destroyed compartments, sensors and internal network were still surging and glitching, fire control central and most of the local directors were down, they were in no state to challenge one of the Empire's most dangerous destroyers. Either of them.

'By looking for word from Sector. I'm not sure we're doing the right thing- that this is a legitimate operation, still less a maximum effort. Once we reach the point five gigapascal layer, head for planetary meridian 225 then bring us up slowly until we can contact Mapirene Sector Command. We're out of this.'


Olghaan knew nothing at all of this directly, but had already guessed- and had other problems to face anyway. The renegade, Black Prince, was somewhere not very far under the clouds, close enough to get low bandwidth situation reports if not actual beamed data.

That should mean in active sensor reach- if not of his own ship, necessarily, then of one of the light forces accompanying- which had achieved little so far except to be shot. An elint fitted ship should be able to do better than this, surely- grant that he had used his status to raid the parts bins at CEC, there was still a limit to how evasive he could be.

What's he doing that's predictable? He's running smooth but not silent, particle shields fanned out into a forcefield wing, but however aerodynamic it is, it cannot be adaptive enough to be completely reactive, still not perfectly smooth in the ambient turbulence. We do have a waste tachyon flux to track, but that only gives a general area- which may be enough to cue in more accurate sensors.

'Look for a wake, a patch of laminar flow in the turbulence. If he's ghosting through, he will be quieter than the background. A wake we can track.'

Both ships, the flag and the renegade, were heavily modified- a matter of privilege achieved. The basic Imperator design had very considerable room for growth, even without playing with the outer armoured shell, and even local forces had sector fleet repair and maintenance units to call on; the limit was authorisation, how far it could be squared with the authorities- and one of the two leading actors had the highest writ in the galaxy backing them up, the other had long since ceased to care.

Both had essentially spy ship class sensor fits, for their own benefit rather than the Empire's, because one thing the empire refused, publicly at any rate, to acknowledge is that there is a far side to the valley of technology. Very simple tools- the knife, the hammer, the blank sheet of paper- are dependent entirely on the craft and wit of their users; an enormous span of things can be done with them, but what they actually do is down to the hand that wields them.

In the middle, there are tools that have the logic of their function, what they do is what they are designed to do, and it is highly inefficient at best and dangerous at worst to be overly creative. There are few other things a locomotive boiler can be good at doing, after all. The Empire liked the lower slopes of the valley, ideologically speaking. It liked that spot on the landscape where things have their purpose built in, where form follows function, where systems logic reigns and people must serve the machine.

Of course the higher echelons were not technocratic at all- most of them were psychologically (not to mention sociopathically) still primitives in the land of knives and hammers, truth be told- but why waste perfectly good obedient minions by telling them the truth?

On the far side of the valley, there start to emerge again tools of such power and diversity of use that imagination again becomes king, that logic crumbles like sandcastles of little constellated grains of fact under tidal waves of wild possibility. The computer, the laser, the field projector.Instruments of chaos, potentially. The Empire was where it was, though, because that was where most of the galactic mainstream was, where the Republic had been.

For whatever fear- ridden reason, blame the Force if you like, the bulk of the races of the galaxy were still mentally in the pyrocarbon stage, longing for things to have definable and graspable meanings, shape and form and system and a tamed future; the result of this roiling invisible argument of the future was to cram incredible power into familiar shape, things that a citizen of the late steam age would recognise instantly, but should have been gibbering incoherently at the overpowering, enormous magnitudes of.

Which comes back to advanced sensor gear, at least a reasonable way up the far slopes of the valley, and the sense to translate what it says into what is actually happening. Here were two brains involved, one full of system logic and the other running free- but overstrained, going through a bad patch in life at the moment, and very tired.

Shandon Rythanor knew he was wilting, that he was not at his best- but this really was not, not the moment to be coolly professional, to downcheck himself and let the quasi-random collection of devious, dubious eccentrics he had trained and led go on without him.

If he did that it would be letting himself be so rattled by one mistake, he would walk straight into another- standing down now wouldn't be prudence, it would be cowardice. It would be refusing to try to prove that he could still do it; it would be letting the system win, letting it take him out cheaply and easily. He needed to do this, needed to step up, face the challenge, or he might never be able to again.

Which would have been less of a problem if his team hadn't been fully aware of it and looking out for him. Which meant attention being diverted away from the cube holotank that put together the first-trim data, just processed enough to make it sensible to a human interface, as far up the far hills of the valley as they could get and as good a look at what was really going on as they could readily comprehend.

It didn't help that for everyone who had half an eye on him, they did not have it on what they were supposed to be doing. Hence, 'Arred, will you stop staring at me like I have an extra head and concentrate on- oh kriff, Skipper we're leaving a mag-15 wake.'

Lennart had been considering the mid game; when they came out from the planet, they were going to have to do it in style and at speed, and another good reason to lurk here and delay was to let the gravitic projector team evaluate and calculate, come to conclusions about how well what they were doing was working, and how to do what he had in mind next. A couple of hours of operational pause would suit well.

That the self- noise monitoring had just dropped the ball and Olghaan was definitely angry and urgent enough to take a long shot, well. That meant an urgent default to plan A.

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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by Simon_Jester » 2014-07-21 08:46pm

Aaaaand there we go. Serious mistake by Black Prince, right on cue! :D

Interesting observation about the valley of technological possibility, although personally I think the distinction between 'middle' and 'high' comes largely from whether a device is optimized for a single purpose or designed for multirole use. Geared machinery, engines and so on, almost have to be optimized, and therefore constrained- computers do not. Field projectors are, in and of themselves, about as multirole as knives by appearance.
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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by InsaneTD » 2014-07-21 11:38pm

Well the next chapter should prove rather interesting. Can't wait to read it.

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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by Vianca » 2014-07-22 12:58am

O nice, Shandon Rythanor ain´t happy right now, don´t want to be one of his underlings, after dropping the ball like that.
He should talk with Lennart about a overviewing workstation, so he can better check his man.
Nothing like the present.

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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by sropike » 2014-07-22 02:53am

Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but "computer" covers a rather large field of computing devices. Yes, there are general purpose ones, but there are also a lot of really specialzed types, e.g. in signal processing...
Yes, the mistake from Black Prince was due, maybe even overdue. Especially considering she's off a major refit, barely field-finished, not worked up, etc.
Next chapter should be interesting in the Chinese meaning of the word :twisted:
The two cripples sendin inquiries up the chain of command could also have "interesting" consequences...

Thank you ECR for giving us our next fix! :D

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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by Crazedwraith » 2014-07-22 10:40am

So one destroyer is being nibbled to death by space whales, one is bugging out to avoid politics, and Lennart's destroyer is being too noticable?

My understanding was not helped by forgetting who Rythanor was.
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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by sropike » 2014-07-22 12:15pm

Crazedwraith wrote:So one destroyer is being nibbled to death by space whales, one is bugging out to avoid politics, and Lennart's destroyer is being too noticable?

My understanding was not helped by forgetting who Rythanor was.
No quite. The one "bugging out" is not bugging out, but asking for confirmation from up the chain of command, presently manouvering high enough in the atmosphere to be able to do so. Also that destroyer chased the space whales away, extended its shields to protect the crippled one and is towing it out.

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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by kbird » 2014-07-22 01:03pm

Fascinating as always, though I think my brain looped in on itself trying to figure out Falcata's logic. Still, it looks like they've run out of tricks...

Can't wait for more!

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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by Eleventh Century Remnant » 2014-10-13 12:43pm

Just to prove that I am, in fact, not dead...

It's been a very full summer/late campaigning season, and not quite over yet; we still have an international incident to cause (hoisting the Saltire over Newcastle Cathedral, fun) and a trip to the ends of the country, as well as various family health issues. Winter should be a good time to get back on track.


One side note first; doing a bit of ego- surfing to work up the momentum to get on with this bit, I find that on another board I have been accused of misogyny. After the initial surge of indignation, I started composing a rebuttal and realized that, embarrassingly, there is some kind of case to answer; that I have not been particularly kind to the female characters.

This arc was begun without any clear idea of where it was bound, only "deal with the fallout", and was inevitably going to be more political and more domestic, which meant that civil life would intrude, and there did need to be more female (and civilian) characters- so I went through a phase of throwing them at the plot to see if any of them stuck. Which most of them didn't, and slid off to land in a crumpled, soggy mess.

Well, at this pace I'm not going back to do a rewrite, but in hindsight it was probably a mistake to put most of them in to begin with. Different politics, different standards, I don't think I'm prejudiced, apart from anything else I know far too many actual reenactor warrior women, but there were definitely a couple of clunky moments.

Anyway, before I dig myself into a deeper hole before pointing out that ships are traditionally referred to in the female gender, (oops...)



Ch 33

Just when it seemed as if things were moving back towards a normal balance, that they were not doomed to play whipping boy forever and force would have its' day, the enemy pulled out another complication. They had obviously noticed that they were leaving a wake, flushed their fields killing the smooth laminar patch they had been trailing.

It was still the start of a trail, though. It would be easy for him to lay false trails, though, use those damn' gravitic projectors to play with the atmosphere- if we give him time. And it's not as if they don't know exactly where we are.

'Active, focus, ghost tag one.' Batter the possible, probable contact with active sensors, before it could slide away, break datum. Pin it down-- then evade, start weaving because the first move must surely be to fire. Even at that the advantage would still belong to them, slower but more agile in the goo of the atmosphere.

Is this another false play, another opportunity for me to make a mistake, Olghaan thought. At last a target for direct fire, and a fading opportunity. What will he do, which way will he turn? If this is a mistake, it's one he knows I'll have to try to redeem with a head on clash, at last.

We have more firepower than he does, if Ineffable manages to rejoin. If they haven't been eaten by giant space crows, or poisoned by rebellious politics, or panicked and run. If the enemy had at last been worn down a little- surely no- one could keep this up? No-one can play the game of death without letting the strain get to them, at least a little?


Perhaps, the errant treasonous thought swam across his mind, that's why His Majesty looks as if he was already dead and buried, and Vader never comes out from behind the mask. Lennart wasn't a young man, had been in at the beginning of the Clone Wars- one of the very small band who had actually hailed from the Old Republic fleet- but if that's the factor we're depending on, Olghaan thought, things are desperate indeed.

Black Prince's crew are older on average than most ships', they've been together for long enough to get thoroughly annoyed with each other; become lazy and unprofessional. At least that's what doctrine says. They're showing precious little sign of that.

If this is a false play, a fencing move designed to force action while I still have the burden of the damaged and before Ineffable can link up properly, then it may fail- where will he be? He trusts his manoeuvrability, won't extend, will try not to repeat himself, he's a difficult passive target-

'Number one turrets each beam, set two guns for flak, fire turret groups solid-burst-burst, spiral search patterns around ghost one, point designate Ghost 2.' The second point was his own tactical guess of where Lennart would have got to, where he might be found and caught. He'll have turned gently there, to head for the equator, stayed deep- shallow is the worst for him, holds him back and shows him up without any of the concealing effect of the deep cloud.

He'll want to stay down until he can come up with speed and surprise; this might be a good time to take a swipe at the fighters and gunboats, too. Any possibility of bringing Ineffable up from underneath? If they are still in play, then they should head for the flash of the guns.


Two of Swiftsure' s turrets then, pounding out what were really more sounding charges than anything else, waiting for the flash of impact and the deformed, disguised surges of power in the beaten atmosphere. An ordinary, livable, corellian class planet wouldn't even necessarily keep its' atmosphere, under bombardment; get the burst altitudes and splash patterns right, and a destroyer on a punitive expedition could superheat the planet's air to beyond escape velocity, strip it off, leave the world a searing vacuum desert.

Swiftsure had done that, once, to a planet in the expansion regions. A world that had been originally separatist, dumb enough to be pricipled about it, and had started putting out feelers to one of the resistance groups that had later merged into the Alliance. Their planetary defence shields had also been separatist built, cheaply and shoddily mass produced by the lowest bidder. They were quite easy to establish electronic dominance over and shut down.

It was actually easy enough to do, energetically speaking, provided it was done quickly enough before the air was able to make too much use of the natural heat sinks of ocean and crust. More a challenge of gun laying skill than anything else.

At the end of two hundred seconds or so, the planet did technically have an atmosphere; a replacement one, made of boiled off seas and burnt plantlife, cities, people. The air become fire had torched everything it possibly could. Not quite the full planetary autoclaving of a BDZ- there might still be some anaerobic bacteria in a cave somewhere. Who might still be inclined to rebel, once they had evolved again in a few billion years, but in the meantime, fair enough to call that job done.


This world of Veren Porphyr V was far too large for anything of the sort, but that didn't mean that it could no take scars, that the teratons of firepower dumped into it wouldn't show. In this case, they were hoping for the flare and the echo that would signal that they had found their renegade.

Target site one was where he should be, therefore inevitably would not. Any reaction from there would almost certainly be a false trace, a deception that might with skill itself be traced. Two was Olghaan's persaonal guess where he actually would be. Much more intersting to see what happened there.

The third set of bolts vanished. Instead of the screaming atmosphere surging, charged, away and imploding again, there was a magnetic silence- followed by a sudden flower of neutrino emission. That bolt set had been taken on shielding- dammit, they were there.

The fact that their shielding could withstand that was just confirmation that the numbers were all lies, on both sides, but at least there was a target. 'Open fire.' As if the order actually needed to be given- interpreted perhaps, translating things like 'intensify forward firepower' into a practical course of action was an art form in its own right and one the fleet, whose ops manuals had largely been drawn up by politicians, had far too much practice in.


At least they now had a target, and if the fire plan had more to do with getting rounds downrange than any specific tactical effect, that was not a bad thing. Black Prince reacted of course- but to read the move? Gunnery control wouldn't need to be micromanaged, could be trusted to take an order like that and make sense of it, and to follow evasion and jamming.

The atmosphere might be the decisive factor. It absorbed some of the power of shot- so advantage the uniform heavy battery on the loyalist destroyer, countervailed to a measure by the renegade's very heavies and the trick shot artist in charge of them. It also inhibited manoeuvre- the energy that the bolts did shed into the hydrogen envelope would brew up a storm that would paralyse ship handling, send even a destroyer on repulsors spinning and twisting out of control.

Black Prince had actually taken the flare bolt on her extended particle shields being used as wings, but gained nothing by having no hull under the- the energy still had to be absorbed and bled off, it was still a hit as far as the heatsink system went.

It also meant that the turbulence they should have been able to use to hide them was a negative factor, as it meant they had to have that much larger a target area anyway- blow the particle shields out and they wouldn't necessarily be finished, not at the middle depths they were now at, but it would wreck a lot of the surface features, too many antennae that couldn't necessarily stand the strain. It had ceased to be a good move.


Return fire then, with the heavies- the three twin 170's and the three single 320's that would bear-fire back up the bolt paths, no too simple, if Olghaan had any wit at all he would have realised they would do that and be manoeuvring evasively now. Bring in the shields, and start dancing on ion power alone- aim for a tangential approach to the surface, away from what should be the rising support pair of destroyers- which were no longer moving directly to engage? Hm-

The first full set of intelligently aimed fire crashed out, and Black Prince which had pulled her particle shields in rolled into the hole carved in the atmosphere by a full thirty gun salvo of 170 calibre shot- a close group, based on the estimation that he would turn radically away, a less three dimensional manoeuvre than the helm team had actually come up with- a rip and a flare to starboard that carved out a new weather pattern that the renegade tumbled into, going with the wind and tide.

Swiftsure had her tail feathers singed- the particle shields also helped shape and direct the ion stream from the main engines and it was through that extension that the renegade's gun crews put one 320 and two 170 bolts, enough to collapse that panel of shielding- in a far more forgiving environment than the gas giant, give or take a few columns of flying shot.

The loyalist couldn't afford to turn stern on, even if it had been a good move to evade and recover; all the guns were on the other side. For all that jamming and background noise could do, turbolaser beams were a fairly good target indicator- and they now had a relatively clear target. So roll and pitch to bring the full main battery to bear.

The renegade had that moment to react in, and they used it by catching one of the currents and allowing themselves to ride it, to lever against it- to bring their small bow arc into which all their guns could fire to bear against the distant, blizzard- glimpsed Swiftsure.


Olghaan had anticipated something like it and put his ship into a falling leaf the instant the bolts were clear, diving for the edges of the atmosphere and spraying spoof and signal in all directions, advanced electronics fit howling out jamming. This was not necessarily a winning position; Black Prince was a multicoloured, broadband baffling blur in a complicated, surging environment, a very difficult target for point fire and tracking, not so much so for pattern fire.

It was the right decision. The renegade's oval control crews were good enough to follow the move and lead the target, and holding still would have resulted in a grouped strike that would have peeled off most of his bow- at least. The agility damage he had already taken meant rather more of the salvo hit than would have been the case otherwise, but not all. Clipped by the hammer rather than smashed by it.

Twelve bolt impacts, out of seventy- four which was vastly better than it could have been, but as usual the renegade had the best gunners in charge of his largest guns, and the hits were two 320's, two 170's, one 70, two 32-ion and the rest 32's. That was enough to hurt.

One of the heavies of the axial battery hit and loaded the shields, a starboard side 170 and the bow 70, three of the 32's followed, splattering mostly down the port side of Swiftsure as she began to corkscrew away, redlining the shielding, but the next that took the momentary surge capacity into the black was a 170, which was almost the worst thing that could have hit- loaded and partially melted the port- forward heatsink complex, left a weak spot.

The other axial bolt arrived on bare metal, the heat management system trying to bypass the damage and cross connect- not fast enough, too few split seconds to spare. Port side beam mount- beam in both senses of the term, the old quad mount had been used for the repositioned and upgraded tractor beam fit. The heavy turbolaser bolt crashing into it heated the durasteel around the blast point to beyond unification energy- the tensor fields could no longer grip the material, could not spread and shed the heat- burst into plasma.

The beam mounts wrecked, secondary damage from the impact- the burning steel starting fires throughout the port midships section, the softened hull twisting and deforming , compensator and tensor nodes failing under pressures closer to those of a neutron star, half melted hull splashing and splattering away.

Instant response was to roll to cover the damage, the other edge of the main alpha arc; but their opponent was trailing incandescent vapour too. Four of the thirty bolts sent on their way by Swiftsure had connected, and Black Prince's shielding was fractionally thicker, most of that edge coming from the better spread out power grid behind it. Could stop something like three and two thirds.

The shot was a graze starboard side lower aft, must have passed most of the length of the ship before hitting and bursting over the forward end of the starboard main engine. There were ancillary structures there, including a dc bunker and its' stores, including panelling. That could serve as ablation. The fearful energy of even a half- spent bolt was enough to scar the outer skin, leaving a patch of bare steel that could be used as an aiming point later, and superheat most of the compartments immediately inboard.

There was a reason those compartments were used for all things grey and shady, all sorts of illicit stores and games and deals; the likelihood of their being fried was the main issue. It was possible to sometimes get very interesting secondary explosions in such a case. As recently refitted as she was, not this time; the internal forcefields slammed down, the heat sinks switched into domestic mode activating that branch.

The structre and the workshops and fittings in the way served their secondary purpose; ablative armour for the engine. It hiccuped, but kept firing, as the ship rolled and dived back into the blast clouds and the mist. First direct clash; slightly in favour of the renegade.

Sith and damnation, Olghaan thought, he can't have been aiming that specifically, can he? Tractor beams out- another thin thread by which we could stop him escaping gone. It was not his only problem; the navigating officer caught his attention. The corvettes were scattering.

Teret Shulmar was perhaps not the killer his predecessor had been, but being a transport pilot had other advantages. Good connections and the ability to speak officialese were things it was hard to accuse a fighter pilot of, but a trash- hauler was a different story. He could come out with things that a fighter pilot couldn't articulate, such as trying to talk the light force group down rather than simply lay into them;

And if he was accused of being an insufficient killer, words without teeth, he could point to the maniacs behind him and say, in effect, 'Yes, and?' Olleyri might have been able to do more damage at less cost, but the problem was that he would have had to. Even if he had been able to convince the frigate and corvette group that they were pawns on the losing side of what was all in all a blue on blue, and they really had no business being here, being shot at. It had been bad enough already, why wait for it to get worse?

He was quite believable, because he was careful to avoid the really dubious parts of the story. One frigate had already, spontaneously, surrendered- it was now a matter of persuading the rest, using that as the wedge and using the peremptory, information free, rushed way had been dragged along as a lever.

There were opportunities for bluff and double cross, there- and Shulmar might have fallen for them, but the bloodthirsty horde behind him wouldn't.The destroyer limping away- the official word was let them, bluff towards Forntarch Rampant if you think it'll achieve a useful diversion but she's been beaten, no point finishing her off when there are others still active- was still officially in play, IFF flashing loyalist, but in practise out of it.

Weighing the possibilities, letting the barely navigating wreck head for the outer system was worth it if it helped the smaller craft come to their senses and take the exit, and the excuse, they had been offered.

Which was why the corvettes, such of them as there still were, and the frigates, less eager to press it, were folding their electronic colours and departing.

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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by Simon_Jester » 2014-10-13 01:54pm

So, the corvettes fail their "Am I getting paid enough for this?" check. :D
Eleventh Century Remnant wrote:Well, at this pace I'm not going back to do a rewrite, but in hindsight it was probably a mistake to put most of them in to begin with. Different politics, different standards, I don't think I'm prejudiced, apart from anything else I know far too many actual reenactor warrior women, but there were definitely a couple of clunky moments.
Having looked at that accusation- I think the main problem is that all the secondary characters who show up with any real importance keep winding up haplessly flattened by the force of the plot: as you said, crumpled, soggy mess. The only people who pull through are the ones who aren't heavily involved enough with the actual plot to be in danger, or who get bundled up and carried along by someone else who can protect them.

The former group consists largely of men (such as most of the ship's department officers), while the latter is mixed-sex, but women who fall in that group end up looking like they have no agency, thus triggering the accusation of misogyny.
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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by Crazedwraith » 2014-10-13 02:56pm

First the misogyny thing, I’m really sorry you got accused with that. I can think of three prominent female characters but my memory ain’t that great.So take them as you will: First Red-haired Stormtrooper lady. (is she a mara jade clone btw? I can’t remember if I ever asked) She’s Lennarts love interest chiefly but with an agenda. Lennart’s daughter. Spunky but basically a piece in Lennart and Thrawn’s game. And the pilot-lady who’s been a bit of psychological wreck since Day 1. There’s certainly others but they’re the ones I remember most. Not that many of them but then they’re aren’t that many women in imperial service so… eh. Are they your best characters? Possibly not. Do I think your treatment of them is misogynistic? Certainly not.

I hate when it people try and read personal views and opinions into someone’s writing like that. It may not be the best, gender-equal, feminist story out there but I don’t think people should be forced into writing stories as tick boxes for diversity reasons. So there’s that. Take it as you will.

---

Now for the actual story. It does run into the problems I have with remembering what has happened but its pretty good. For example, did all the Star Destroyers aside from Lennart clear out of the gas giant in the last chapter? Otherwise, Olghaan being ‘we hit something! Fire at will!’ seems rather reckless.

I rather like your characterisation in the brief scene with Shulmar there. That he’s not a fighter jock and that affects how he works. That is cool.

A couple of lines I wanted to comment on:
Their planetary defence shields had also been separatist built, cheaply and shoddily mass produced by the lowest bidder. They were quite easy to establish electronic dominance over and shut down.
-Wait, does this mean they sliced into someone’s shield generators while in orbit and shut them down wireless. That is a bad design. Or did you mean more like Culture Effector style taking over and shutting?

As if the order actually needed to be given- interpreted perhaps, translating things like 'intensify forward firepower' into a practical course of action was an art form in its own right
-Ha! I do like this RotJ reference.
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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by Simon_Jester » 2014-10-13 06:51pm

Crazedwraith wrote:First the misogyny thing, I’m really sorry you got accused with that. I can think of three prominent female characters but my memory ain’t that great.So take them as you will: First Red-haired Stormtrooper lady. (is she a mara jade clone btw? I can’t remember if I ever asked) She’s Lennarts love interest chiefly but with an agenda...
I think what struck the accuser about Severian (or did she fool with the spelling?) is that her agenda boils down to wanting Lennart to follow a specific path. Also that she had several scenes where she really wanted to get into Lennart's pants. Which... kind of reduces Severian to an appendage of Lennart in a literary sense of the word. Her own desire to define herself as an independent person is a good thing; making more hay of that would seem better.

In other words, the same issue that crops up in the Bechdel Test: does this female character have well-defined interests that do not boil down to "it's all about this man."
Lennart’s daughter. Spunky but basically a piece in Lennart and Thrawn’s game.
Yeah; her lack of leverage, and again the fact that her plot is basically "about this man," Lennart again... not helping.
And the pilot-lady who’s been a bit of psychological wreck since Day 1.
Seeing her again would be good- and, again, seeing her have an agenda other than "about this man." It's been long enough since my last reread that I've kind of forgotten what her sideplots were like.
There’s certainly others but they’re the ones I remember most. Not that many of them but then they’re aren’t that many women in imperial service so… eh. Are they your best characters? Possibly not. Do I think your treatment of them is misogynistic? Certainly not.
It doesn't indicate hatred of women, and can reasonably be presented as a respectful-of-women portrayal of a fictional society (the Imperial military) that is itself misogynistic.

But... yeah, frankly, to not at least create a case which needs to be answered, the female characters need more personal development other than "it's about this man."
I hate when it people try and read personal views and opinions into someone’s writing like that. It may not be the best, gender-equal, feminist story out there but I don’t think people should be forced into writing stories as tick boxes for diversity reasons. So there’s that. Take it as you will.
This I'm inclined to agree with- there is a comparative dearth of stories that are overwhelmingly filled with female characters and in which the male characters play bit parts... but very few people would label such a story as misandrist. Even if all the character development the male characters get is "well, it's about this girl..."
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Re: Hull 721, plot arc the second

Post by Andras » 2014-10-13 08:09pm

There's the female ex-ISD captain from arc1. In arc2 there's also Lennart's sister (in law? I forget), the Inquisitor, and the Coruscant police officer.

I'm sorry, but I have to laugh at someone complaining about misogyny in a story set in the Empire. Misogyny is what the Empire does, and now that Disney has given the EU the chop, there are no females in the Imperial Military (that I can recollect.)

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